Christopher Moore @ Boswell Book Company (Milwaukee, WI)
I adore Christopher Moore.
In fact, I’d go as far as to call him my favorite living author.
My first discovery of his works was purely by accident — In a train station, in need of something to get me through a 3 hour Amtrak ride, my eyes fell upon the cover to “A Dirty Job,” which I bought, and reader/author love was born.
SO! Mr. Moore has a new book out – “Sacre Bleu” – and Chicago wasn’t originally a part of his tour itinerary. This made me sad. Then, my husband and I discovered that he had a Milwaukee stop on my birthday, and a mini road trip in the name of book-nerd-iness was born.
Off we headed to the land of beer and cheese.
Boswell Book Company, the Milwaukee store that hosted the event, is wonderful. Staffed by book nerds, the shelves are packed with all kinds of great reads. The children’s section is adorable, there’s a bunch of travel books, and hey — it’s connected to a Starbucks. Basically, they had me at hello.
Milwaukee folk love Christopher Moore, apparently. The event was full, and the crowd was fun and receptive. The Author Guy himself was a blast to listen to — silly, political, and smart. He even came out about fifteen minutes before the event and wandered through the assembled crowd, seeing how far everyone had come from. (The winners got audiobooks — I think of “Lamb.”)
Here’s what I learned:
Among his favorite characters, Rivera (the put-upon cop) ranks pretty high.
Harvard Divinity is teaching “Lamb,” which gets way less angry letters from religious people than you’d expect.
What’s he working on now? Another book involving Pocket from “Fool,” only this time put into the combined context of “Othello” and “The Merchant of Venice.” (He’d also like to do a sequel to “A Dirty Job,” which might include the return of one of his most beloved characters, Abby Normal – the inspiration for whom came from goth kids Moore saw on the bus, and their subsequent Myspace blogs.)
Mostly, he was there to talk about his newest (#3 New York Times bestselling) book, “Sacre Bleu,” which takes the reader back in time to the events surrounding Van Gogh’s death and the Impressionist artists of the world surrounding him. It’s a novel about the color blue, and I’m currently about 40% of the way through reading it, so I can say it’s quite good — if a slight departure from the silly absurdity of some of Moore’s other works. It’s a little bit more mature of a book, which I absolutely mean as a compliment.
Post-event, we all queued up to get our books signed. The staff at Boswell handled this really well, assigning everyone to a group and calling up groups so everyone didn’t have to wait in line the whole time. We went through the line, and (being those people with the baby) I’m pretty sure our 6 month old amused everyone around us the whole time.
Mr. Moore graciously signed several of my books – including the copy of “A Dirty Job” that started my whole fandom in the first place. In the limited time we spoke with him, he was affable and charming.
I really enjoyed my experience with Boswell Book Company and the signing. Wisconsin Booknerds, you should really stop by. Everything was lovely and well-coordinated and you can tell it’s a store staffed by folks who just love books. To show my support, I took the opportunity to pick up two books I’ve been meaning to acquire copies of — Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca” and Karen Russell’s “Swamplandia!”
Good times, good times!