Time to Write Now By Julaina Kleist-Corwin

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Christopher Moore’s Sacre Bleu Mixed Reviews In Reading Group

sacre bleu a comedy d ArtOut of the five people (I’m one of the five) in our Reading Group, one liked Sacre Bleu, A Comedy D’Art,  two liked most of it, and two didn’t finish the 400 page novel because they didn’t like it enough to slog through it. I am one of the two that liked most of it.

The story involves many impressionist painters. The other person who liked most of it, said it was difficult to keep track of so many painters. That wasn’t hard for me since I’ve studied impressionism in depth and know who the artists are and often can recognize the individuals’ work.


My criticism of the novel is the length of it that included too much detail. The author explains how he didn’t know that period of art history and accomplished extensive research, which developed the Paris setting authentically. He also specifically showed which of the artists inspired the others  and which ones were older than others. I enjoyed learning that information through his way of showing relationships and through their dialogue.

What Moore’s research did to the novel that I expect is tempting for many authors who write historical novels is that all the material became interesting and he wanted to put in as much as possible. That temptation resulted in unnecessary side tracks, and obvious author intrusion interrupting the flow of the story.   It’s copyright is 2012 and the trend now is tighter prose, not 400 pages where half of those pages could have been condensed and in some places deleted.

The plot, if Moore would have stayed closer to it, had fantasy throughout and I liked that element. He withheld the identity  of two characters, however when I discovered who they were, I decided the book  was worth the long, slow read. The ending tied the main points together and I was satisfied with it.

If you like Paris, impressionistic art, history, fantasy elements, and a mystery (about Van Gogh’s death), then you’d like Moore’s novel.


Have you read any of Christopher Moore’s books?



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