by Andrew Miller
3.1 7

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Pure by Andrew Miller

Winner of the Costa "Best Book of the Year" and "Best Novel" Award 2011

Andrew Miller's new novel is vividly realized fiction played out against the rich caophony of Paris on the cusp of the French Rveolution. 

Jean-Baptiste Baratte–an ambitious young engineer of modest origin–arives in the capital in 1785, charged by the King's minister with emptying the overflowing cemetery of Les Innocents, an ancient site whose stench is poisoning the neighborhood's air and water.

At first Baratte sees his work as a chance to clear the burden of history, a fitting task for a modern man of reason. But before long he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own fate and to the demise of the social order.

Baratte cannot forsee the dramas and calamities his task will trigger, or the incident that will transform his life. As unrest against the court of Louis XVI mounts, the engineer realizes that the future he had planned may no longer be the one he wants. His assignment becomes a year of relentless effort, a year of assault and sudden death. A year of friendship, too, and of desire and love. A year unlike any other he has lived.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609458768
Publisher: Europa
Publication date: 05/29/2012
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 521,517
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Andrew Miller’s first novel, Ingenious Pain, won the James Tate Memorial Prize for Fiction. He has since written five novels including Casanova and Oxygen, which was a finalist for the Whitbread Award and the Booker Prize in 2001. He lives in Somerset England.

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Pure 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is nothing boring about Pure, a gripping, sophisticated historical novel about pre-Revolutionary Paris. The ongoing tension between the bones being removed and the heads that we know are about to roll, is gripping. What does action mean--to act? For how long must we think and to what extent can we rationalize our actions? These are the types of questions the book presents. Plus, it's a page turner, indeed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this because of the review in the newspaper. The review was a better read than the book. This is the worst thing I've read voluntarily. There is very little story, and what there is gets more pointless the longer you read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cubicleblindnessKM More than 1 year ago
For those that enjoy historical fiction here's a pick for you! I don't read much historical fiction but what got me interested in this particular one is it's set right outside the Palace of Versailles during the time of Louis XVI. I am a fan of the movie Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst and thought that it would be interesting to see what it was like for the people living outside the palace during the same time. While our main character's job is most undesirable, and most likely to fail. He only does some of the dirty work himself. Soon after arriving to clean out the remains of an overflowing cemetery he gets a crew of 30 men to dig. They find many things during their exhumations. Even though Jean-Baptiste is hired for this rather untasteful task, it does consume a year of his life. There is much more to this story than digging up the bodies. The church that lies above, in which the bodies are slowly encroaching and the nearby shopping center. The conflicts as well as intermixing concerns of both, and more! He does find comfort in the arms of Héloise and a friend in Armand. Of course at the heart of the story is that there is revolution brewing. People are upset and want enlightenment. And during this day and age, their lives will literally go up in flames. A melancholy story full of dead bodies, but with love and friendship during one of the hardest years in their lives.
opinionatedinandfromNYC More than 1 year ago
I thought the book terrific, and the problems of the incipient French Revolution are still the problems of today. Life in a grand metropolis is made truly palpable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an "editor's choice" in the New York Times and based on the overview seemed like an interesting read. Unfortunately, it is a total bore, with unimaginative characters and a story line that leads you on, believing that MAYBE something interesting will start to happen (it never does). Save your time and money on this one.