After writing about demons, beasts and vampires in his first five books, Moore wanted to write about different things. He wrote about angels, Jesus, whales, and most recently about painting. No matter what he's writing about, Moore is a first-class novelist who bends and twists and manipulates words in the best fashion of Tom Robbins and T.C. Boyle.
In his most recent
(and 13th) novel, he takes on Paris and a handful of painters including Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Toulouse-Latrec, Manet, Renoir, Seurat and other contemporary artists inhabiting France in the late 1800s.
In the introduction, Moore tells us the book is about the color blue - but it's not. Well, it is in a way but it's really more of a mystery thriller:
"This is a story abut the color blue.
It may dodge and weave, hide and deceive, take you down paths of love and history and inspiration, but it's always about blue."
So, what is blue?
"Blue is glory and power, a wave, a particle, a vibration, a resonance, a spirit, a passion, a memory, a vanity, a metaphor, a dream. Blue is a simile. Blue, she is like a woman...And, as a woman, she is deadly."
It's a fun romp, though the real joy happens in the closing chapters. There Moore brings in the Colorman--the strange little man/creature with the colors, of course--and for brief moments we're transported back to those wondrous moments when the writer was totally obsessed by the strange and eerie and weird.
Sacre Bleu has all the trappings of an important novel--the wraparound paper sash; the cover art; the fonts--and in the scope of Moore's career, it probably
is. There are moments of true delight, but it would be nice if the author returned the genre he knows best: the demon world and the things that live there.
Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Steven Rosen, 2012