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Sacre bleu : a comedy d'art
Christopher Moore
Adult Fiction MOORE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Art history is playfully-and perilously-rewritten in this ambitious novel by bestseller Moore (Bite Me). Working backward from the death of Vincent Van Gogh in 1890, we meet frustrated painter and favored son of a Paris bakery family, Lucien Lessard, whose best pal happens to be Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, that fabled frequenter of brothels. All his life, Lucien has heard words of wisdom and tutelage not only from Toulouse-Lautrec, but also Renoir, Pissarro, and Theo Van Gogh. But after Toulouse-Lautrec receives a strange letter from Van Gogh, dated just before his death, the two begin to investigate "the Colorman," an odd figure who sold the titular brilliant ultramarine paint to all of these fabled painters during their most prolific, mad, and forgotten periods of work (the Colorman's arrivals also coincided with the painters' most intense love affairs). During their investigation, Lucien and Toulouse-Lautrec will discover that the mystery and Lucien's muse, Juliette, are intimately connected. Spanning nearly 30 years-with a brief interlude in Roman times-the story is steeped in Western art: Renaissance Italy; medieval cathedrals; the fields and studios of pre, post, and high impressionism. Though the question at the story's heart is less interesting than the fictional anecdotes about the great masters, fans of Moore's mix of wit and slapstick will be pleased. Photos. Agent: Nicholas Ellison, the Nicholas Ellison Agency. (Apr. 3) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Moore (Fool; You Suck) set out to write a book about the color blue. What he ended up with is a surprisingly complex novel full of love, death, art, and mystery. When baker-turned-aspiring artist Lucien Lessard, whose father was friends with some of the preeminent French artists of the late 19th century, receives a special tube of vibrant blue paint from the mysterious Juliette, his amateurish painting becomes masterly and his life becomes a mess. Obsessed with painting and loving Juliette, Lucien must discover the mystery of the blue paint, the origins of Juliette, and the identity of her near-constant companion, the frighteningly sinister Colorman who haunted other artists like Van Gogh, Monet, Pissarro, and Cezanne. In the end, the true question for Lucien is, "At what price art?" VERDICT Don't let Moore's quirky characters and bawdy language fool you. His writing has depth, and his peculiar take on the impressionists will reel you in. One part art history (with images of masterpieces interspersed with the narrative), one part paranormal mystery, and one part love story, this is a worthy read. Considering the large marketing push and Moore's rabid fan base, expect demand. [Nine-city tour; see Prepub Alert, 10/9/11.]-Jennifer Beach, Cumberland Cty. P.L., VA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Lucien Lessard
Male
His father father was a patron of Monet, Renoir, and Cezanne; attended art school with Vincent van Gogh; aspiring to be a painter; believes Vincent was murdered and did not commit suicide; investigating the mystery behind the color blue.
Baker

Henry de Toulouse-Lautrec
Male
Best friends with Lucien; helping Lucien find Vincent's killer.
Painter



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