Thursday
Nov292018

Sacre Bleu, a Review of the Book By Christopher Moore

Perhaps I got off to a bad start with Moore's book 'Sacre Bleu' by listening to it over an uncomfortable dental visit. 

There is a moment in his book "Bloodsucking Feinds" where snapping turtles make a particularly poor impression on a potential mother-in-law.  The moment is genius, doubly so if, quite inadvertly, you've lived through some version of it yourself.  My version includes a forgotten garage door opener in my pants pocket, the love of my life, a partial state of undress, a few moments of youthful lust and a two hour early visit from her parents who were wondering why the garage door was malfunctioning.  Oh, and two pet ferrets, not snapping turtles, and the ferets had nothing to do with lust and that's why they are in this sentence over here.  Christopher Moore's version is better.

I like most of what Christopher Moore writes, so I kept at Sacre Bleu despite a start that included lidocane injections in chapter 6 and some of drill noise and spitting in chapter 7.  And then at some point I realized that the book was not for me.  It isn't just that the book isn't my cup of tea - sure I like impressionist painters, I like Paris, I paint a bit myself with acrylics, I've even build robots that try to paint, I liked Moore's other books, I mostly like his humor, and I'm not adverse to reading something a bit smutty.  All of which suggests, I should enjoy.  But the book stubbornly was not for me, and I was not its intended audience.

I normally breeze through a book, but Sacre Bleu was my own personal literary version of mountain climbing.  I pressed on.  I read the book.  I had to fight myself to finish it, I haven't given up on a book since sixth grade* unless you include reference items like encyclopedia, technical manuals and cookbooks.    Eventually I read all of Sacre Bleu.  

And there was a big pay off at the end.  You should totally go buy the book right now... go go go... just run out right now don't even finish this blog post, just go buy your own copy right away.  Get the audiobook and the ebook.

And I just lied because I really like almost everything else Christopher Moore has wrote, and I want him to do well and write more great things.  Much like humanity has forgiven the long dead impressionists of their sins and those they troubled, I'll forgive Moore for this cryptic liturgy on passion.  Sacre Bleu might even be great, as the story unwinds near the end like a pecular tangled Jimsonweed Georgia O'Keefe that nearly seems to be mooning its audience, there is something real and true in there.  At least if you can ignore the borrowed tropes and reflections Moores plucks from his earlier works.  That what inspires us, truely it can be fickle and cruel.   Inspiration and relentless obsession, once lost, how and where can they be reclaimed?

I haven't read Moores 1994 Coyote Blue book yet... maybe I'll give that one a try next to finish reading his published works.    And maybe leave the dentist visit out of the next story. 

*"Where the Red Fern Grows", I am sorry I do not know you.  

(Image (C)2018, "honoring O'Keefe", acrylic on canvas, painted by my daughter, Tessa)

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