Christopher Moore is a merry madman. To call the Bay Area novelist a comic author does not begin to address the richness of his outrageous and singular oeuvre.
Moore can take a sacred plot (literally, like the Gospels, in Lamb, or figuratively, like King Lear in Fool, which I just had the pleasure of reading), and profane it with scatological knavery, gleeful anachronisms and undistilled irreverence. The result is rudely, raucously funny, and yet weirdly true to the spirit of the source material.
(I can imagine Will Shakespeare laughing himself into a state of derangement over Fool, then stealing some of the funniest bits for his own future reference.)
Early in his career, Moore came to town for a book event at the Capitola Book Café, my neighborhood bookstore here in Santa Cruz, and he's been a staunch friend and supporter of the store ever since. This Saturday, in support of the Book Café's ongoing Survive and Thrive campaign, Moore returns for a 2 p.m. reading and signing of his latest assault on history and culture as we know it, Sacre Bleu.
In this new novel, Moore takes on modern art (the Post-Impressionists, in particular), and the French, for a tale in which Henri de Toulouse L'autrec and a young apprentice artist delve into the unknown story behind Vincent van Gogh's apparent "suicide."
More than this I can't reveal, mainly since I have yet to read Sacre Bleu. I'm waiting to buy my copy at the Book Café on Saturday. If you're planning to be in the Santa Cruz area that day, or if you're just interested in helping to sustain the integrity of an independent, local bookstore, please consider joining me there.
To reiterate, that's 2 in the afternoon, Saturday July 14. The Book Café is promising lots of fun activities yet to be announced at this event, so keep checking their event page for further details.