Over the past couple months, I have spent a fair amount of time busting out posts for the Entertainment section of Rainbowchair and have had a blast doing so. Movies and television shows have been my bread and butter, leading me to create about three or four posts a week. The only thing that has bothered me about the Entertainment section of this blog is that it doesn’t cover all of popular entertainment. I consider Popular Culture to consist of four different things: television, movies, music and books. So far, I have only touched on two of those four topics, fifty percent of what Pop Culture really is. Well, that ends today!
In April, my favorite (and I mean favorite no ifs, ands or buts about it) author came out with yet another hysterical novel. The author is Christopher Moore and the novel, his thirteenth to date, is called Sacre Bleu. Every one of Moore’s novels is hilarious and has its own level of brilliance and Sacre Bleu is no exception. Leaving the fictional city of Pine Cove, California, where many of his novels are set, Moore travels to Paris in this latest novel, hell bent on changing art for the world. The novel opens with the murder of Vincent Van Gogh (notice I said murder and not suicide) by the story’s main antagonist, the Colorman. The murder made to look like suicide becomes a mystery that drives forward the plot of the entire novel.
When Lucien Lessard, friend of Van Gogh and fellow painter, hears of Van Gogh’s death, something about it does not sit right with him. Lucien and friend Henri Toulouse-Lautrec set off on an investigation that changes art as the world knows it. Moore, as always, fills the pages with a cast of hilariously amusing characters but in this novel, most of them are based on famous artists. Monet, Manet, Renoir and Van Gogh all make appearances and become important characters in the story as well as many other artists. As Lucien tries to understand and solve Van Gogh’s murder, he encounters three important things. The first two are the Colorman and a tube of blue paint and the final thing is an old flame by the name of Juliette. Taking a break from the investigation, Lucien spends days painting Juliette, losing time and almost his life. Upon the completion of the painting, Moore’s traditional supernatural aspect of his novels comes into play. Lucien begins to notice that he is not the only artist to encounter the Colorman, the elusive aquamarine blue tube of pain and the love of his life beauty at the same time. In fact, most painters seemed to have encountered all three at once and, while painting the beauty, lost time just like Lucien did. The resolution of the growing mystery is a while ride through the past complete with a muse, an immortal imp, a Goddess, time travel, a set of mechanical legs, brothels, opium and of course, the color blue.
Moore proves that the scope of topics he can write about is endless. Basing a novel off of the color blue should have produced pure insanity but Moore makes completing the challenge seem easy. The pages of novel are peppered with famous paintings that Moore works into the story as well as more famous artists than I thought possible. Not stopping at just referencing art, Moore also works in literature, referencing the Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Portrait of Dorian Grey both in very amusing and clever ways. Hysterical, amusing and lighthearted from beginning to end, Moore has produced yet another masterpiece that makes me wish my words read like his. I give the novel a 9.5 out of 10 and urge every person reading this to not only read Sacre Bleu but any of the great novels Moore has produced.