Tag Archives: Christopher Moore

Sacre Bleu (Christopher Moore)

Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'ArtSacre Bleu by Christopher Moore
Age: Adult
Genre: Fiction / Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Harper Collins, 2012
ISBN: 9780061779749 / 403 pages
Find this book at your local library
Publication date: 4/3/2012

After a brief encounter with the Colorman, Vincent Van Gogh is fatally shot dead in Auvers, France. Meanwhile, as the news makes its way through the Parisian artist network, Vincent’s close friends, Lucien Lessard and Henri-Toulouse Lautrec, must solve a series of mysteries regarding the  Lessard’s newly returned love, Julliett and the ultramarine shade of blue the Colorman sells to the Impressionists, at a steep and dangerous cost to the artist and their families.

For anyone familiar with Christopher’s Moore’s wit, sarcasm and often inappropriate humor, this book might come across as completely alien. The book itself felt longer than necessary, and was not laugh out of funny, as Moore’s previous books have been. It’s not a serious book, but it is thoughtful and Moore went above and beyond in researching the era, the artists, their works and their personalities for this book. I applaud the level of attention and seriousness he devoted to those elements of the book. I studied art in college, and the Impressionists are my favorite group of artists from France, so I really appreciated and loved the attention to detail Moore gave to the artwork. There is also the added bonus of colored prints of various art throughout the book.

Despite some of my criticisms, I very much enjoyed this book. I think I might have been less critical if I had read it over a longer span of time, rather than getting through the entire book in 2 days. I definitely list Moore in my top 3 favorite authors, after Neil Gaiman & Cecelia Ahern.

One of the drawbacks of this book was the dialogue and characters. They felt repetitive with the same stale jokes running through the novel. Also, it felt like Moore took modern language and just placed in a historical novel, adding an odd element and disrupting the pace of the book. It was somewhat awkward but still interesting to see his seriousness in the descriptions, but then skip to the childlike humor in the dialogue. I wonder if this is Moore evolving as an author? Maybe stepping away from the sex and poop jokes? Either way, I’m intrigued to see what he will write next.  The ending did not wrap up fast enough for me, it felt like there was just too much to say about Bleu, and too many avenues to explore of her influence on artists throughout time.  Sacre Bleu is probably not the best introduction to Moore’s inappropriate and off-beat comedy, but it does highlight his way with words and the level of research he puts into his books.

Other things to do while you wait for this book:

  • Listen to his Interview with NPR
  • Plan a visit to the Musee d’Orsay in Paris to see the Impressionist gallery!
  • Plan a visit to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam! When I went last year, there was a special exhibit featuring the work of Henri Toulouse Lautrec. It was beyond awesome to see his original posters and prints. 
  • Go to the Legion of Honor in San Francisco to see artwork from the Belle Epoque era. 
  • Go see Christopher Moore at Keplers April 24th!
  • Read my reviews of other Christopher Moore Books! 
  1. Christopher Moore: Fool (A retelling of King Lear)
  2. Christopher Moore: Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story
  3. Christopher Moore: You Suck: A Love Story
  4. Christopher Moore: Bite Me: A Love Story
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Bite Me: A Love story – Review

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Bite Me: A Love Story by Christopher Moore

Age: Adult

***** SPOILERS ******** SPOILERS*********

If you haven’t read Bloodsucking Fiends, or You Suck, then this review of the third and final book in the trilogy may contain some spoilers.

***** SPOILERS ******** SPOILERS*********

Chet, the fat vampire cat is on the loose in the streets of San Francisco, killing off the homeless population and turning stray cats and birds into vampires. Meanwhile, Jody and Tommy are trapped in bronzed statues of themselves, a la their minion, Abby Normal. As the Emperor, the Animals, and the police try to put an end to the deadly vampire cats, Jody and Tommy must find a way out of the bronze statues soon once a pack of elder vampires park their boat at the pier and save the residents of San Francisco.

The third book in the series is centered on Abby and her quest to become “Nosferatu”.  She is clearly the favorite in this, as she has the best lines and the best storyline in the book. A good chunk of the beginning of the book involves Abby recapping the previous books for us, and that was sort of annoying. It went on for much too long. The actual storyline of vampire cats roaming the streets, the samurai with the bright orange socks, and the ship full of ancient vampires back to set order to the City got a little carried away. Between all of that, Abby trying to become a vampire, and the storyline with Jody and Tommy, I felt like there was a lot of clutter. Moore did a decent job of overlapping all the storylines, so that there weren’t any loose ends or random tangents.

Although Moore incorporated his perfectly sarcastic and absurd humor, this book just didn’t have the same feel as the first two books. Once you get into the quick-paced writing its easy to get sucked into the storyline and not be able to put down the book. I carried this book around with me everywhere looking for moments to sneak in a couple of pages. This one really felt like the weakest of the three books. Its really Moore’s writing style and his ability to incorporate the quirks and history of San Francisco, that only San Franciscans know, in his books that made this enjoyable for me.

Book 3 of 2011

Bite Me: A Love Story
Christopher Moore
William Morrow, 2010
ISBN 978061779725
309 pages

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Bite me : a love story

You Suck – Review

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You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore

Age: Adult

**********SPOILER ALERT***********

This review may contain spoilers for Bloodsucking Fiends.

Read with caution.

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Waking up to find out that the love of his life turned him into a vampire, Thomas C. Flood and Jody embark on a crazy adventure trying to reestablish their lives as a vampire couple in San Francisco.

The summary is a bit lame, I admit. A lot of little things happened in this book, which makes it hard to sum it up in a couple of sentences. Tommy has been turned into a vampire by Jody. As Tommy attempts to understand and deal with his new situation, a number of obstacles get in the way of his happiness with Jody. With their new minion, Abby Normal; The Animals back and more wild and crazy than before; and the constant threat of Elijah coming back to stalk them, Tommy and Jody try to navigate a new life together.

Again, Moore does not disappoint with this sequel. Its funnier than the first, and the characters are more developed, eccentric and very true to the colorful characters of San Francisco.

I love that this book is set in San Francisco and that Moore includes the Emperor as a significant character. For those that are not familiar with San Francisco’s history, the Emperor, also known as Joshua Abraham Norton, declared himself the Emperor of the United States in 1859.

Although mentally unstable, Norton was humored by residents of San Francisco with his delusions.  He made such an impact that even Mark Twain paid homage by modeling the character of the King after Norton in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain lived in San Francisco for a brief period during Norton’s reign.

Tommy is still my favorite character, although Abby Normal is a lovable yet creepy goth child who never quite understands the complete danger her life is in throughout the book. Chapters are written from her perspective, and those are the delightful and a great change of pace from the constant battles of Tommy and Jody.

Moore will be coming to the Bay Area to do a reading of the third book in this series, Bite Me in a couple of weeks. I just acquired a copy of his newest book and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it (corny pun fully intended).

You Suck: A Love Story
by Christopher Moore
William Morrow, 2007
ISBN 9780060590291
328 pages

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My reviews of other Christopher Moore titles

Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story – Review

Fool – Review

Teaser Tuesday (3/30)

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TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

# Grab your current read.

# Let the book fall open to a random page.

# Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

# You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given! # Please avoid spoilers!

My Two Teasers:

You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore.

So it turns out Alicia DeVries is this crusty hippie who is like as old as my grandma, but wants to be all Earth Mother and everything, which I’m not against, because old hippies have teh best pot and they’ll just give it to you if you pretend not to notice that they’re crusty and old.

So Alicia picks me up in her crust-mobile rainbow peace-and-love Jeep CJ and I give her the requirements of the vampyre Flood, which were bedroom with no windows, a washer and dryer, private entrance with lockout, and at least above the ground floor, windows looking down on the street.

Bloodsucking Fiends – Review

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Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore

Age: Adult

Bloodsucking Fiends is a hilarious comedy tale by Christopher Moore, author of Fool. C. Thoman Flood (Tommy) has just moved to San Francisco from Indiana to pursue a career as a writer. Jody wakes up underneath a dumpster after being attacked, only to find out that she is now a vampire. Unable to go out into the sun, Jody and Tommy cross paths at a 24-hour Safeway where Tommy is the night manager. Soon after forming a quasi friendship based on sex and a mutual need to find a place to live, they move in together and that’s when Jody can’t keep her vampire nature a secret anymore.

I love that this book is set in San Francisco, a city I frequently visit and wander through. I was able to recognize all the sites, and streets which gave the book a more personal feel. Tommy is a hilarious character. His witty, naive, and quite often funny without meaning to be, (which I consider really tough to pull off in writing). His natural charm is in his dopey yet hopeful and curious demeanor. Jody is strong-willed, confident and possess superhuman strength as a vampire. Her dependence is Tommy isn’t the most healthy, but then again is any vampire-human relationship healthy? Although this is book 1 of a series, it doesn’t feel like a typical first book. Moore even includes The Emperor, a well known character that roams the streets of San Francisco. Reader’s of this book that doesn’t live in the Bay Area will be happy (I hope) to know that the Emperor did indeed exist in SF. The characters are well developed, from the “animals’ that work at Safeway with Tommy, to Kurt, Jody’s ex-boyfriend/roommate/self-centered jerk. This is the 3rd Christopher Moore book I’ve encountered, and the 2nd that I’ve been able to get through. I tried Lamb, but didn’t get into it. Listened to Fool on audio-cd and it was one of my favorite books of the year (although the credit goes mostly to the speaker on the cd and all of his wonderful impersonations). Bloodsucking Fiends is not silly, but its not mature. Its not a mental taxing book, but the characters have different levels to them and the themes of friendship, loyalty, identity and home are consistent throughout the book. The humor is not raunchy or vulgar as it was in Fool. Its well thoughtout and goes well with all different readers.

This was the first book of the new year for my book club, and it was a great way to start off the year. I still have a small crush on Tommy (he’s just so sweet!). If I can find the following books of the series at the library, I’ll definitely be reading them.

Bloodsucking Fiends
by Christopher Moore
Simon and Schuster, 1995
ISBN 0684810972
300 pages

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Find this book at your local library

Fool – Review

Fool by Christopher Moore

Age: 17 years +

Fans of Shakespeare and fans of dry, vulgar and sarcastic wit will appreciate Christopher Moore’s Fool. King Lear’s beloved and truthful fool, Pocket, is the narrator of this tale.

King Lear:

Shakespeare’s story of King Lear in a nutshell: King has 3 daughters, Goneril, Reagan and Cordeila. He is dividing up his realm, and asks his girls to tell him how much they love and adore him. Reagan and Goneril lie to the moon and back and are given generous amounts of land. Corderila truthfully answers her father, in that she loves him as a father; no more-no less. The famous like “Nothing comes from nothing” is taken from this scene. Because Cordeila refuses to lie and flatter her father, she is disowned and the king divides his land between the two older sisters. Cordeilia goes to France, and King divides his time between the two sisters.

There is another substory of Edmund and Edgar and their battle of their father’s realm. Edmund is a bastard child and not the true heir, so he plots to get rid of his brother and become heir to the land.

*Side Note* King Lear is my favorite Shakespeare play, followed by The Templest.

Fool is my first venture into the very popular world of Christopher Moore. Christopher Moore is able to really break about the story of King Lear and develop the characters more fully.  I’m really at a loss for how to describe this book. I listened to it on audio cd, which I think is the best way to enjoy this story. The narrator, Euan Morton does a fantastic job with all the characters. The pacing is just right, the comedic timing in his voice is perfect. I’m typically not one to laugh out loud when reading, even comedies, but Morton’s high pitched voices for the female characters makes it impossible not to. The only other book that had me laughing hysterically was Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.

I really recommend this book. And I am intersted in suggestions for other Christopher Moore books you think I might like. I couldn’t get into Lamb, but I’m interested in going through some of his other books.

Use of HarperCollins’ amazing “Browse Inside” feature to get a glimpse of Fool’s beginning chapters here

Fool
by Christopher Moore
Read by Euan Morton
Harper Collins, 2009
7 Cds

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Find this item at your local library – Book