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WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD (2011) A year of bones, of grave-dirt, relentless work. Of mummified corpses and chanting priests. A year of rape, suicide, sudden death. Of friendship too. Of desire. Of love...A year unlike any other he has lived. Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. Into their midst comes Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young, provincial engineer charged by the king with demolishing it. At first Baratte sees this 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.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 24mm | 240.4g
  • Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Sceptre
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1444724282
  • 9781444724288
  • 10,446

Review quote

His recreation of pre-Revolutionary Paris is extraordinarily vivid and imaginative, and his story is so gripping that you'll put your life on hold to finish it The Times Enthralling ... superbly researched, brilliantly narrated and movingly resolved Observer Exquisite inside and out, PURE is a near-faultless thing Sunday Telegraph It draws you in with hallucinatory power Daily Mail Superb Literary Review Dazzling Guardian

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About Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller's first novel, Ingenious Pain, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and greeted as the debut of an outstanding new writer. It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour Prize for the best foreign novel published in Italy. It was followed by Casanova, then Oxygen, which was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award in 2001, The Optimists, and One Morning Like A Bird. In 2011, his sixth novel, Pure, was published to great acclaim and went on to win the Costa Book of the Year Award. Andrew Miller's novels have been translated into thirty languages. Born in Bristol in 1960, he has lived in Spain, Japan, France and Ireland, and currently lives in Somerset.

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Customer reviews

I adored this book and read it in about 3 hours. I was in Paris in 1875 when I read it. Beautifully written, I found myself concentrating on every word where normally I skip chunks. Not only is this a glorious rendering of everyday life on Bourbon Paris but it made me think of mortality and life today. I urge to read it.show more
by Maayan
This is the story of a young engineer who is sent to Paris to rid it of an abandoned church and cemetery that is full to bursting! It tells of the smells, the sights and sounds of the horrendous job in front of him. The story includes Rape, love, murder, insanity, destruction and the young mans naivety in carrrying out the task. It is a strange read but somehow you are complelled to find out how it ends up. I can't say I loved it but it was certainly quite an interesting tale!show more
by Penny Cunningham