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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
Sacre Bleu - Christopher Moore Here’s my thing about Christopher Moore: There are some books of his that are hysterically funny but the story’s strong enough to be engaging and the humor works surprisingly well with it. Then there are other books where the focus is on only one or two jokes repeated ad nausem making me want to yell “GET ON WITH IT!” Aside from one or two issues that I have overall, this does fall into the former category. I’ve liked Moore’s historical novels a lot more than his contemporary ones, so I loved the idea behind the color blue and the French Impressionist. Seeing as I know barely anything about art, much less Impressionism, the descriptions of the art work and techniques are well crafted enough to give a good idea what everyone is talking about with bogging the text down with explanation. I really liked that reproductions of a lot of the art that gets referenced in the book are sprinkled throughout. (I’m not sure if said works will be reproduced in color in the final version, will have to check on that.) Despite a lot of exaggeration and changes on Moore’s part—there’s an afterword included detailing the specific changes to history—I really liked the Parisian setting and the artists who inhabited the Montemarte area. There’s this liveliness and deep sense of community to Lucien and his friends, especially when the book opens with their reaction to the death of Vincent van Gogh. I loved all of the different painters who pop in the novel’s timeline, even the ones I’ve never heard of. Also, half of what comes out of Henri Toulouse-Latrec’s mouth? Hysterical.The overall concept was handled fairly well. I liked the idea that there’s a super-special color that inspires an artist and that there’s a price to pay for using it. Tying it in with the historical uses of ultramarine blue gives the story a darker edge to it. And the descriptions of how the Colorman makes the blue were pretty creepy. I kind of liked the idea of Juliette jumping from body to body (although there’s a few revelations that I wanted to yell at), and I also liked that even though she refers to herself as a muse, she’s revealed to be more of a leanan sidhe. There are several issues I have with this overall, though. For as much as I expect the sophomoric humor in Moore’s work, there are points that I have to go, “Really? You can go for more than five pages without a fuck joke.” It’s really jarring to get the revelation that Juliette was hundreds of women over the centuries and responsible for the deaths of some of Lucien’s friends when the punchline is “Dude, we nailed a goddess!” (In so many words. Also, much like “fuck,” the word “boinked” stops being funny after the fiftieth time.) It can work at times, it just feels like he has to put them in there all the time.The other, bigger problem I have is the ending. I don’t like the fact that we find out that the Colorman is dead, but in order for Juliette to stay with Lucien, he has to make the Sacre Bleu. And instead of debating whether or not he really wants this, to cause more death and heartache, everyone is fine with this conclusion, because Juliette really, really loves him and they can be together forever! I almost expected the epilogue to reveal that the roles were reversed, that Juliette was keeping Lucien under her sway, but no, they’re just in the 21st century and happy. (To be honest, the reveal that Juliette was actually evil could probably be a cop-out, but compared to what I got, I would have preferred that ending.) If there had been a bit of a different ending, heck even Juliette dying, would have been more preferable.It’s not a bad book, but the ending and the constant dirty humor would be a lot to turn people off of it. It’s a lot better than Bite Me was, but not quite up to the level of Fool or Lamb. I’d say a must-read for the hardcore Moore fan, and more of a “check-it-out” for anyone else.