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Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d'Art

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  20,464 ratings  ·  2,849 reviews
In his latest novel, Moore takes on the Great French Masters. A magnificent “Comedy d’Art”, Sacre Bleu is part mystery, part history (sort of), part love story, and wholly hilarious as it follows a young baker-painter who joins the dapper Henri Toulouse-Lautrec on a quest to unravel the mystery behind the supposed suicide of Vincent van Gogh.
Hardcover, 403 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by HarperCollins (first published April 1st 2012)
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Y'know, I could give a damn about painting. Van Gogh, Manet, Monet. I'm dimly aware of them, I know they're somehow culturally important, but I'm just not interested. It's not my cup of tea.

Similarly, I *really* don't give a damn about the lives of said painters in Paris in the 1800s. Just don't care.

It says a lot about Christopher Moore that he can write a book centering around these things, and with a slight splash of the fantastic make a story that holds my interest, engages my curiosity, a
Ever wonder why all those 19th century European painters were so batshit crazy? According to Christopher Moore it wasn’t just the absinthe, lead poisoning and/or syphilis.

Lucien Lessard is a talented painter who also makes a mean loaf of bread in his family’s bakery. One of Lucien’s best friends is another artist named Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec who doesn’t let his short stature stop him from drinking constantly while trying to sleep with every whore in Paris. Lucien and Henri are saddened by the
Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art is heavy on the blue and the art, but light on the comedy.

The book is set in the art scene of 19th century Paris, a fascinating time for the art world. Every artist of this era makes an appearance in Sacre Bleu, Mr. Moore did a ton of impressive research for this book.

The book begins with the end of Vincent Van Gogh’s troubled life, an apparent suicide by gunshot. But somehow Vincent gets himself to his doctor before his death for treatment, where he raves about the
Dani Peloquin
Let me get this out in the open first, I love Moore. I think he is hilarious and, at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, ahead of his time. It is for these same reasons that I love the Impressionists. However, the coupling of these two together does not seem to work.

In this novel, Moore attempts to understand why van Gogh would attempt to kill himself and then walk a distance to seek a doctor. In order to get to the bottom of this, detectives Lucien Lessard Henri Toulouse-Lautrec take on the case.
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jan 09, 2014 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of C Moore or Impressionist Art
The book blurb exaggerates - amusing rather than hilarious. Moore does have a keen sense of the absurd so if your taste runs to ribald, irreverent humour you'll probably like this. Great premise, a twist on the overdone vampire tale. Rather than blood it’s 'sacre blue', the raw passion of artists extracted from their masterpieces that serves as an elixir of eternal life for The Colorman aka ‘Poopstick’
A hodgepodge mixture of historical fiction, murder mystery, humour and fantasy – helps but not
There are those who love Christopher Moore for his bizarre, irreverent and slicing wit. There are those who love him for his ability to create portals into absurd realities, and his ability to make those absurd realities seem almost plausible. For the first group - this book is not for you. For the second set - you're gonna love it.

There are slices of Moore's strange humor throughout, but this book leans more heavily towards a fusion of fantasy, historical fiction and satire. The tale begins wit
Sacre Bleu is a bit different than the usual Moore novel. While it can be hilarious and probably beats the record for the gratuitous use of the word "penis", it does not rise to the continuous hurts-to-laugh level as his Pine Cove books. I also think it is safe to say the novel is not the equal of Lamb or A Dirty Job but it is not minor Moore neither. Sacre Bleu is perhaps a more serious effort on his part. He clearly did a lot of research on the Impressionist artists of France in the late 19th ...more
There are those who love Christopher Moore for his bizarre, irreverent wit. And there are those who love him for his ability to create portals into absurd realities, and his ability to make those absurd realities seem almost plausible. For the first group - this book is not for you. For the second set - you're gonna love it.

Moore really did his homework, when researching for this novel. My mother has a degree in Art History, and believe me, I've seen some things about all my favorite painters! (
Jun 12, 2012 Caris rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
In The Architecture of Happiness, Alain de botton said, “It is in dialogue with pain that many beautiful things acquire their value.” It was with his words in mind that I found myself in the Phoenix Art Museum looking for the color blue.

Wait. Let me back up a little.

My dad died. He and I weren’t close. In fact, for most of my life, I hated the guy. But his death came as a huge shock to me, nonetheless. It’s like my heart had absolutely no consideration for my head. I felt baffled, lost, and conf
I need to start my review by describing what I brought to this book, and what was at stake for me as an individual reader. I studied art history in college; I have both a B.A. and an M.A. in art history. That is to say, I have a deep personal interest in art and the story behind its creation and place in history, but I don't think this really affected me much with this book, since I went in knowing it is fiction. I also have read Christopher Moore books in the past and enjoyed them. I do think t ...more
Blue is the sky, the sea, a god's eye, a devil's tail, a birth, a strangulation, a virgin's cloak, a monkey's ass. It's a butterfly, a bird, a spicy joke, the saddest song, the brightest day.
Blue is beauty, not truth.
Blue is glory and power, a wave, a particle, a vibration, a resonance, a spirit, a passion, a memory, a vanity, a metaphor, a dream.
Blue is a simile.
Blue, she is like a woman.

Yes it's true, this book is about the colour blue. And about a mystery woman called Bleu, and Juliet
Boy, oh seems everybody likes to look at paintings of naked women.

Years ago, I worked at the Skill Development Center at the US Army War College. This was a fantastic facility for active and retired servicemen and women. There was a wood shop, picture framing services, an auto shop where you could work on your own car, or have the pros do it for you, a darkroom for amateur photographers, and a huge art studio that featured everything from weaving looms to pottery wheels. There was even
"Sacre Bleu" is the best Tom Robbins novel since "Half-Asleep in Frog Pajamas." Of course, it was written by Christopher Moore, not Mr. Robbins.

If you are looking for a typical Moore laughfest like "You Suck" or "Fool", you might be disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised. "Sacre Bleu" is beautifully, carefully, and intelligently written. It's set in the late 19th Century, and follows some very real people (the Van Gogh Brothers, Monet, Manet) as they paint and live. The main characters are Luc
Theoretically I should have fallen in love with this book. I love art. I love books. I really love 19th century French painters, I kill that category on Jeopardy. I also love Christopher Moore. So yes, this book should have got me straight through the heart.

Okay, the book was well researched. Yes Toulouse-Lautrec really was a womanizing, alcoholic dwarf, yes there really is a lot of mystery concerning Van Gogh's apparent suicide, and yes Gauguin did really have a thing for young Tahitian girls.
Wayne Schuster
It's sad to read all of these negative reviews about this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought he did a very good job bringing the artists, their works, and their lives to light. No, it was not laugh out loud funny . The humor more subtle and the characters less over the top but still it was there for the finding. I think most of thee reviewers are like the swarm of people I saw at the Louvre racing down the halls to see the Mona Lisa. Well not really seeing they were more interested in tak ...more
Ben Babcock
Fans of Christopher Moore may be shocked by this book. Exclamations of “Sacré bleu!” followed by monocles popping out from eyes and spilled cups of tea are probably going to be the norm. For, you see, I enjoyed this book thoroughly. It was an excellent supernatural mystery set in Paris and involving great artists and their muses. But it is not very funny, or at least, it doesn’t have the same, non-stop humorous dialogue and description that I have come to expect from Moore.

I’m not sure I can do
Give Moore top marks for creativity as he weaves a story around a muse who inspires the Impressionsists, with a young baker-painter and bon vivant Henri Toulouse-Lautrec as the main characters in a farcical romp. My favorite lines are an exchange between these two as they enter the Catacombs in Paris: T-L "it follows the streets as if on the surface" Lucien "Yes, but with fewer cafes, more corpses and it's dark, of course" T-L "Oh well then, we'll just pretend we're visiting London" :-)
When I went to his signing at Anderson's Books, Moore took one look at my orange University of Illinois T-shirt and said, "nobody looks good in orange."

So you could see that after three years of writing Sacre Bleu, he was still fixated on colors, though completely wrong about how great I look in orange.

That said, Sacre Blue took off at a plodding pace, with minimal comedic moments, but the history was nothing short of fascinating, so he captured my interest in the first chapter with the murder o
I read somewhere that all of Christopher Moore’s books had been purchased as film rights but none yet had been made into a movie.

Sacre Bleu may be the first.

Resplendent with Moore’s characteristic wit and humor, Sacre Bleu shines with a new maturity and virtuoso swagger of talent. I think Moore has turned a corner in his work, beginning with Fool published in 2009. No doubt about it, Moore’s collection of San Francisco / Pine Cove / Hawaii / west coast recurring character series is fun, I’m ce
JG (The Introverted Reader)
I have mostly been able to follow Christopher Moore into his craziness with success. He makes a joke and I laugh. It might be the weirdest thing ever (Humpback whales with "Bite Me" on their tails?), but I get it. But then there was Fool. And now there is Sacre Bleu.

I got so tired of having absolutely no freaking idea what on earth was going on. I mean, zero idea. You probably have a better idea what's going on than I did. Notice that I didn't write a synopsis? There's a reason.

Individual eleme
I used to know a lot about art.

Since my oh-so-understanding parents never saw the value in letting me take art lessons as a kid (but, gosh, did I ever learn a lot from five years of having softball forced on me, letmetellyousomething), my education was chock-full of all the art electives I could get my hands on. I even added a fine-arts minor to my collegiate studies, which really meant that I stuffed my five-pound schedule with ten pounds of art-history classes. As much as I love art and talkin
Usually it takes me only a few hours to finish one of his novels; this one took two days. The plot was all over the place, the jokes were meh, and the use of blue was entirely overwrought in every sense of the word. I didn't really care for the characters all that much either. They didn't have a quarter of the liveliness as others found in any number of Moore's novels.

Moore included an afterword where he writes, "I know what you're thinking: 'Thanks loads, Chris, now you've ruined art for every
switterbug (Betsey)
Moore’s mystical, mordant comedy starts off with a bang—literally. Van Gogh shoots himself in a wheat field, and then walks a mile to seek medical attention. Why try to commit suicide and then ask for help? That is a mystery, one of several in this bawdy revisionist history of the French Masters. It’s an artful madcap romp and roll of fin de siècle France. Sacré bleu refers to an ultramarine color adorned by the Blessed virgin, but it’s also French profanity and blasphemy. In other words, sacré ...more
Having never read a book by Christopher Moore, I hardly knew what to expect beyond “irreverent” and “witty” – the two words that pop up consistently in Goodreads reviews of his work. When I was searching for my first adult audio book, those were just the words that appealed to me. I only have 20 minutes each way, so I needed a story that would hold my attention, something I could stop and start and nothing too heavy. Christopher Moore seemed to fit the bill and Sacre Bleu was on the shelf at the ...more
Hey... this is only one humble readers opinion, but I would categorize this as one of the most disappointing books I have ever read.

This started out so very strong, but unravelled in the last third of the book. Unfortunately, I had so much time invested in reading that I felt compelled to finish the book.

Sadly, the author had it in him to deliver a powerful story given all the research and his immense talent. But, he opted to take the easy way out. So instead of compelling and mesmerizing, I g
This was a fun read during the most busiest time of the year.

Between cooking, shopping, and hanging out with family and friends, oh yeah and work; I found the time to plow through this book.

This one read similar to Moore's previous novel FOOL, but instead of Shakespeare, it's about my most favorite time in Art History, The Impressionists. I could tell Moore did his homework on this one because it was a fine blend between real artists, their works, and a fun fictional mystery.

I must admit here
Mary (BookHounds)

This is a sneaky little read, it crept up on me and before I knew it, I was in love! Christopher Moore will take you on a warped tour of the history of the color blue, but like all Moore books, there is weirdness and twists until you get to that moment of epiphany and the whole curious tale becomes brilliant. The story starts out with innocently enough with a baker / painter Lucien Lessard (don't bother googling him, he only exists in Moore's mind), wondering why hi
Nancy Oakes
Wm. Morrow, 2012
403 pp
(hardcover ed.)

You might recognize the title of this book as one of those mild French oaths that are up there on par with such others as Mon Dieu! or Zut alors!, but in this book Sacré Bleu is the name of a deep blue, ultramarine paint most closely associated with the Virgin Mary. But after you've finished the novel, "Sacré Bleu!" as an expression for describing how you feel after what you've just read isn't so far off the mark. While Sacré Bleu (the novel) ha
If you love Moore because he's so funny, this isn't for you. It's nowhere near laugh-out-loud funny as his other books. If you love Moore because of quirky characters, this fits the bill. If you love the art world and historical fiction, you might not like some of the liberties taken with character's lives. If you're looking for vampires, here there be no vampires.

Now that I said all that up front, here's my actual review: it's good. The story pushes along at a good pace. There is humor but it'
This is the second Moore book that I've read. I liked it much better than Fluke though I still think it somewhat petered out at the end.

The idea of a muse traveling though time is soemwhat interesting and the characters are well drawn. There is a good since of time and place. The fantasy element felt a little underdeveloped and it was the real characters who brought charm to the story.
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Who was your favorite character? 3 15 Sep 09, 2014 12:36PM  
Backseat Book Club: Episode 15: Sacre Bleu 1 7 Apr 14, 2014 12:29AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Christopher Moore (born 1957 in Toledo, Ohio) is an American writer of absurdist fiction. He grew up in Mansfield, OH, and attended Ohio State University and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.

Moore's novels typically involve conflicted everyman characters
More about Christopher Moore...
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal A Dirty Job (Grim Reaper, #1) Bloodsucking Fiends (A Love Story, #1) Fool You Suck (A Love Story, #2)

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“How do you know, when you think blue — when you say blue — that you are talking about the same blue as anyone else?

You cannot get a grip on blue.

Blue is the sky, the sea, a god’s eye, a devil’s tail, a birth, a strangulation, a virgin’s cloak, a monkey’s ass. It’s a butterfly, a bird, a spicy joke, the saddest song, the brightest day.

Blue is sly, slick, it slides into the room sideways, a slippery trickster.

This is a story about the color blue, and like blue, there’s nothing true about it. Blue is beauty, not truth. ‘True blue’ is a ruse, a rhyme; it’s there, then it’s not. Blue is a deeply sneaky color.”
“But she's a redhead, so she's probably evil, even at her tender age."

"I thought you liked redheads."

"I do. What's your point?”
More quotes…