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Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781444724288

Price: £9.99

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***Winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award***

‘Irresistibly compelling’ Sunday Telegraph * ‘Dazzling’ Guardian * ‘A work of beauty’ The Times

An enthralling tale of an extraordinary year in pre-revolutionary Paris from the critically acclaimed author of Oxygen and The Slowworm’s Song

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.


‘Unique, visionary, a master at unmasking humanity’ Sarah Hall

‘A highly intelligent writer, both exciting and contemplative’ The Times

‘A wonderful storyteller’ Spectator


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
Kate Saunders, The Times
Enthralling . . . superbly researched, brilliantly narrated and movingly resolved
Every so often a historical novel comes along that is so natural, so far from pastiche, so modern, that it thrills and expands the mind. Pure is one . . . Exquisite inside and out, Pure is a near-faultless thing: detailed, symbolic and richly evocative of a time, place and man in dangerous flux. It is brilliance distilled, with very few impurities
Sunday Telegraph
It draws you in with hallucinatory power to seething Paris on the brink of revolution . . . images remain in your mind long after you reach the last page
Daily Mail
Superb . . . The writing throughout is crystalline, uncontrived, striking and intelligent. You could call it pure
Literary Review
Miller writes like a poet, with a deceptive simplicity - his sentences and images are intense distillations, conjuring the fleeting details of existence with clarity. He is also a very humane writer, whose philosophy is tempered always with an understanding of the flaws and failings of ordinary people . . . Pure defies the ordinary conventions of storytelling, slipping dream-like between lucidity and a kind of abstracted elusiveness . . . As Miller proves with this dazzling novel, it is not certainty we need but courage
Very atmospheric . . . Although the theme may sound macabre, Miller's eloquent novel overflows with vitality and colour. It is packed with personal and physical details that evoke 18th-century Paris with startling immediacy . . . If you enjoyed Patrick Süskind's Perfume, you'll love this
Daily Express
Quietly powerful, consistently surprising, Pure is a fine addition to substantial body of work
Financial Times
Alive to the dramatic possibilities offered by late-18th-century Paris, a fetid and intoxicating city on the brink of revolution . . . Miller intimately and pacily imagines how it might have felt to witness it
Daily Telegraph
The book pulls off an ambitious project: to evoke a complex historical period through a tissue of deftly selected details
Sunday Times
Almost dreamlike, a realistic fantasy, a violent fairytale for adults
Irish Times
Vivid and compelling
Times Literary Supplement
Miller generates dynamic comedy and drama from juxtaposing the earthy, bodily realities of the Enlightenment against lofty aspirations of reason and progress. It's engrossing historical fiction
The Age
A pacey, well-constructed narrative in which rape, suicide, love and unexplained deaths all play a part. Miller wears his learning lightly and infuses his story with humanity and warmth
Mail on Sunday
A work of beauty embroidered by Miller's exquisite gift for poetic description . . . it is a delight. And though a historical novel with decay its running theme, the writing is dazzlingly fresh and modern
Carol Midgley, The Times
Some stories are too wonderful - too filled with wonders - to set in the present. They can't really be called historical fiction because they don't serve history so much as plunder it to invent what might have been. Such is the case with Pure
New York Times Book Review