Pure by Andrew Miller

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews

...this is that rare historical novel that feels as though it were written in its own time, and not in ours. That's to be commended...
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

Jean-Baptiste Baratte, an engineer of modest origin, arrives in the city in 1785, charged by the King’s minister with emptying the overflowing cemetery of Les Innocents, a ancient site whose stench is poisoning the neighborhood’s air and water and leaving a vile taste in its inhabitants’ food. At first the ambitious 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 both his own demise and that of the monarchy. Baratte expects the task to be unpleasant but cannot foresee the dramas and calamities it 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 work, exhuming of mummified corpses and listening to the chants of priests, 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.
 

About Andrew Miller

See more books from this 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.
 
Published May 29, 2012 by Europa Editions. 353 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Pure
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Charles McGrath on Jul 03 2012

It’s an artful, carefully wrought novel that ultimately comes down in favor of mess.

Read Full Review of Pure | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Kathryn Harrison on Jun 01 2012

...once the novel’s insistent metaphors begin to accumulate...they push an otherwise subtle narrative toward something a little too close to allegory.

Read Full Review of Pure | See more reviews from NY Times

Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Cynthia Macdonald on Jan 22 2012

...this is that rare historical novel that feels as though it were written in its own time, and not in ours. That's to be commended...

Read Full Review of Pure | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

Reader Rating for Pure
67%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 125 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×