Little known fact #2: I've been in a reading slump lately. I'm blaming all the non-fiction I've been ingesting. But it happens sometimes....I just start to feel like nothing I'm reading is special/creative/original/fun. I usually go back to an old standby (HHGTG or The Phantom Tollbooth in most cases) to pick me up again, but this time I happened upon a new-to-me author. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say.....I'm in love. I even took a picture of some dialogue from Sacre Bleu and sent it to Carrie. I bought this book on Saturday and I finished it Monday night. Slump is officially over. Thank you, Christopher Moore.
How these facts go together: Sacre Bleu is the tale of the color blue. Or the muse that has inspired artists for centuries. Or both, as they are one and the same. The book centers around the Impressionists that found homes, models, and inspiration in the bohemian atmosphere of Montmartre, but it encompasses all great works of art and their artists. The cast of characters is large and the chronology a bit jumbled, but that just enhances the story rather than detract. Lucien (son of a baker and wanna be patron of the arts) and Henri (Toulouse-Lautrec, bien sur) are on a quest to understand why their friend Vincent (Van Gogh, to be sure) would have committed suicide, especially in the odd manner in which he did. Why would he shoot himself in the chest and then walk a mile to the home of a doctor? During their quest for truth, Lucien encounters his old love, Henri renews his enthusiasm for cabarets, brothels, and alcohol, and we meet The Colorman and Bleu.
What I loved most about this book was the quick-witted and fast-paced dialogue. I hate books that slow things down by explaining plot points through laborious dialogue. We don't need to have every.single.detail spelled out for us when the characters have a discussion. We're smart; we'll catch on. I also loved that there were paintings thrown in throughout the book. Mostly because I have absolutely no artistic talent and therefore admire those who can create something in such a manner. But I also love that we get an imagined glimpse into the inspiration for these particular moments. It's fiction, but the tales behind the paintings are plausible(ish) and it makes a great story. Pictures are supposed to be worth a thousand words, right? I'm not giving any more of the plot away because I'm imploring you to read it for yourself. It's fast, funny, a bit raunchy, and a charming tale. It's as if Dave Barry and the collective body of Monty Python had a love child; what could go wrong with that? Read this book if you like to laugh, learn, appreciate art and absurdity. Now, I'm off to buy more of Mr. Moore's books and to mail SLAM my exhibit fee before Dad is officially bald.
|Starry Night - So much blue.|