Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art copy shows more of the woman
So I finished Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore last night, and I still am not sure if, on balance, I liked it or not. Which is a very unsatisfying way to finish a book. Let me do a list of pros and cons and see what comes out on top.


  • Incorporates lots of wonderful Impressionist paintings, including many I love and many I didn't know at all.
  • Prominently features Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, who is a wonderful character.
  • Has a really interesting premise and a very strong opening.
  • Thoroughly and wonderfully researched, incorporating lots of historical people and events in fun and interesting ways. Made me consider the history of painting in a new way.
  • I deeply enjoyed the first 2/3 of the novel.
  • The mysterious process by which the Sacre Bleu is made never worked for me.
  • The prostitutes were all amazingly happy with their lot in life. Not that I don't want prostitutes to be happy. They just seemed...suspiciously happy. 
  • Let me put that another way: I did not buy the female characters. But why am I grousing? It's a Christopher Moore novel. I almost never buy the female characters.
  • I honestly didn't care much what was going on in the last 1/3 of the novel. I just wanted to see more pretty pictures.
As you see, more pros than cons, and 2/3 of the book get a thumbs up while only 1/3 gets a thumbs down. Toulouse-Lautrec, despite being painted in garish colors, gets my approval, while the womenfolk do not. The interesting premise is canceled out for me by the resolution of that premise. Aaaand...that's it, really. 

If you'd asked me when I was halfway through the book, I would have said, Read it! Absolutely! One of Moore's best! Now that I've finished, I've got to Read it, if you want to. It's all right.

Sorry, Chris. Love you. Don't know what happened in that last third there,

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