started and stopped this review at least a dozen times. I have
been struggling to find the right words to describe this book.
so well quickly went downhill at an alarmingly fast pace. Should
I’ve been surprised? Probably not since Playboy was
quoted on the back cover stating, “If there’s a funnier
writer out there, step forward.”Should have been my first
said, it started interestingly enough. As someone who studied
art history throughout high school and parts of university, I
was intrigued by the storyline. It begins with the death of Vincent
van Gogh. Van Gogh famously shot himself in 1890 in a field. However
no gun was ever retrieved from the site and van Gogh stumbled
back to a small French village to die. This is where Moore’s
a fictional main character, Lucien Lessard is a baker by profession
and struggling artist by passion. Upon receiving the news of van
Gogh’s death, Lucien and his friend Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
quickly become suspicious of the circumstances of van Gogh's death.
Was it just made to look like a suicide?
Toulouse-Lautrec is just one of the many real-life artists of
this period that Moore uses throughout his novel. Some others
include Renoir, Pissarro, Manet, Seurat, Monet, Whistler, Cézanne
and many more. Their paintings are scattered throughout the story.
Bleu may also sound familiar to readers. I remember hearing
it in a movie as a kid and getting scolded at by mother for repeating
it. I later learned it was a French curse word, but it wasn’t
until this book that I learned its true meaning. Sacre Bleu
refers to the blue cloak that was painted on the Virgin Mary.
During the 13th century, it became popular for artists to use
expensive and rare ultramarine blue for the painting of Mary’s
19th century artists used what was referred to as a colorman to
get the colors they needed for their paintings. In Moore’s
story, he creates a crooked, little colorman who has weaved his
way through all these famous artists’ lives and paintings.
Lucien and Toulouse-Lautrec begin to track down their artist friends
and discover that each artist had a muse that they were completely
enamoured with though their memories are distorted and where the
paintings disappeared to is a mystery to them.
this story begins to unravel is with the element of magical powers
this colorman possesses. Though I have some imagination with stories
that use magical elements, Moore leaves out a lot of details and
doesn’t explain properly how the Colorman has been affecting
famous artists for centuries. Bleu is a spirit/sidekick who becomes
these famous muses in all the paintings. As long as the Colorman
has some of his ultramarine, Bleu can keep entering new bodies
to inspire these artists.
is a serious lack of flow with the character Bleu. Sometimes she
is good and sometimes she bad. As a reader, you are always questioning
her motives especially with Lucien. She inspires Lucien through
his former love, Juliette.
is supposed to be comical, but it often comes off as crude. Using
the word “fuck” to describe every sex scene just seems
like a writer who lacks creativity and is just being lazy.
I would suggest this book with caution. What began as interesting
became a nightly punishment to finish.
Bleu: A Comedy D'Art at bookstores everywhere.
978-0061779749 / Publisher: William Morrow / (April 3, 2012) /
Hardcover: 416 pages
Review: 'UnJunk Your Junk Food' is an eye-opening experience
credit: William Morrow Books
excerpt from "Sacre Bleu: A Comedy D'Art."