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Literary Friday: Sacre Bleu

Friday, July 6, 2012


This week I read Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore.  If you love French Impressionists, you will enjoy this book!

Sacre Bleu is about the color blue....the same ultramarine blue used on the Virgin Mary's cloak. The Church dictated in the thirteenth century that the Virgin Mary's cloak would always be depicted using "sacred blue."  This ultramarine blue was made from lapis lazuli from the deepest mountains of Afghanistan; it was rarer and more expensive than gold.

So imagine a world where a demented, hunchback wee man has cornered the world's supply of this ultramarine, sacred blue.  Imagine that "The Colorman" might have shot Van Gogh over his use of Sacre Bleu.  And what if the models (muses) from the world's greatest masterpieces were in reality one woman.  Yep that's right....a real muse.

The novel's protagonist is fictitious painter Lucien Lessard.  He lives on Montmartre with his family, and works as a baker.  They feed many of the starving impressionists, and Lucien has tutored under Renoir and Pissarro. His best friend is the novel's other wee man, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.  When Lessard finds Juliette, his muse, he is heart-broken when she mysteriously disappears.  Three years later she returns bearing the Colorman's ultramarine, and Lucien paints his masterpiece: a nude portrait of Juliette. When Lucien and Henri begin solving mysteries involving time travel, lost time, so-called suicides and missing paintings, the one constant is the Colorman and his ultramarine blue.

I enjoyed Moore's stories surrounding the paintings in the book: They truly added to the story.  I also love Moore's witty dialogue.  I was laughing out loud during most of the book!  An example is this exchange between Henri and Lucien while they are in the catacombs beneath Paris:

Toulouse-Lautrec unfolded the map until he had revealed the seventh level below the city, then looked to Lucien.  "It follows the streets as if on the surface."
"Yes, but with fewer cafes, more corpses, and it's dark, of course."
"Oh, well then, we'll just pretend we're visiting London."
Sacre Bleu, pp. 344 - 345

I don't like some of the adult language (way too many f-bombs).  Why do male authors do this?  :/


One of my favorite paintings included in the book
Renoir's The Swing 1876

What have you been reading lately?  Are you making a dent in your Summer Reading List yet?
Link-up and share!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. That sounds like a very interesting book! Something different for sure.

  2. The fact that the book talks about my favorite color, it already becomes interesting for me. Have a great day Ricki! :)

  3. Not sure this book would be for me, but it does sound interesting. I have been reading up a storm since it's too hot to do much else!

  4. Sounds like I'd love to read it. There are 60 people before me on the waiting list for this book. Maybe I'll read it next year!
    I love lapis. My husband gave me a lapis and gold bangle bracelet for our 25th wedding anniversary. It is one of my very favorite pieces and I wear it often.
    I agree about language. Totally unnecessary. I have a large enough vocabulary that I have never felt the need to substitute obscenities or profanity for more descriptive words.

  5. I've read some Moore books, some I like and some I couldn't stand. I am with you on his overuse of foul language, it adds nothing to his work. However I would say there are just as many female authors that do this. I view it as a literary crutch.

    I do have to say that the cover of the book is gorgious. Not his norm. But I guess it goes with the storyline.

  6. When I started reading your review I thought I'd like to get a copy since i really do like the French impressionists which my mom and dad introduced me to when I was young. But when you said there was profanity, no thanks! I am reading several Christian books which I get for free from Some are great, some so so. Patsy from


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.


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