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April 4, 2012 / schulerbooks

New Christopher Moore = Super-fantastic-awesome happiness.

As long as I’ve been working here, Schuler booksellers have been rabid fans of Christopher Moore. All it took was for a coworker to put a copy of his sublimely funny and surprisingly deep Lamb in my hands for me to join their ranks. His newest book, Sacre Bleu, came out yesterday, and if you are a fan of  laughing, art, artists, France, artists from France, or just fantastically imaginative writing, you should seriously consider checking it out. (Plus, it’s got a wicked-awesome Mucha-esque cover!)

Moore posted a preview of the first couple chapters on the Sacre Bleu blog a couple of months ago if you need more convincing, or how about this great review from Kirkus?:

 

KIRKUS REVIEWS
SACRE BLEU
Author: Moore, Christopher

Review Issue Date: February 15, 2012
Online Publish Date: February 5, 2012
An aspiring painter and unabashed romantic joins the greatest artists of the age in chasing his muse across fin de siècle–era France.

There are really two ages and two operating modes for hugely popular comedic writer Moore (The Griff, 2011, etc.). There’s the deceptively easy humor of his early California novels, which only gets sharper and funnier in his San Francisco–based vampire novels. But from time to time, Moore gets obsessed with a particular subject, lending a richer layer to his peculiar brand of irreverent humor—see Lamb (2003), Fluke (2003) and Fool (2009) for examples. Here, the author gets art deeply under his fingernails for a wryly madcap and sometimes touching romp through the late 19th century. The story surrounds the mysterious suicide of Vincent van Gogh, who famously shot himself in a French wheat field only to walk a mile to a doctor’s house. The mystery, which is slowly but cleverly revealed through the course of the book, is blue: specifically the exclusive ultramarine pigment that accents pictures created by the likes of Michelangelo and van Gogh. To find the origin of the hue, Moore brings on Lucien Lessard, a baker, aspiring artist and lover of Juliette, the brunette beauty who breaks his heart. After van Gogh’s death, Lucien joins up with the diminutive force of nature Henri Toulouse-Lautrec to track down the inspiration behind the Sacré Bleu. In the shadows, lurking for centuries, is a perverse paint dealer dubbed The Colorman, who tempts the world’s great artists with his unique hues and a mysterious female companion who brings revelation—and often syphilis (it is Moore, after all). Into the palette, Moore throws a dizzying array of characters, all expertly portrayed, from the oft-drunk “little gentleman” to a host of artists including Édouard Manet, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Moore’s humor is, as ever, sweetly juvenile, but his arty comedy also captures the courage and rebellion of the Impressionists with an exultant joie de vivre.

-Whitney, Lansing

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