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Pure MP3 CD – 29 May 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 332 customer reviews

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Dreamscape Media; MP3 edition (29 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611208173
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611208177
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 1.2 x 12.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (332 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,879,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

''Quietly powerful, consistently surprising, PURE is a fine addition to substantial body of work ... pre-revolutionary Paris is evoked in pungent detail ... By concentrating on the bit players and byways of history, Miller conjures up an eerily tangible vanished world.''---- Suzi Feay, Financial Times

''One of the most brilliant aspects of Miller''s writing is his ability to question unobtrusively, through style alone, sentimentality about both life under the Bourbons and the creative destruction of revolution ... he has an instinctive knack for casting bright similes, never overextended, that ripple suggestively ... The writing throughout is crystalline, uncontrived, striking and intelligent. You could call it pure.''---- Jonathan Beckman, Literary Review

''Murder, rape, seduction and madness impel this elegant novel ... Within this physical and political decay, Miller couches the heart of the matter: how to live one''s life with personal integrity, with a purity not so much morally unblemished as unalloyed with the fads and opinions of society ... Miller populates Baratte''s quest for equanimity with lush and tart characters, seductively fleshed out, who collectively help to deliver the bittersweet resolution of his professional and personal travails.''---- James Urquhart, Independent

''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. Above all he brings off that difficult trick of making the reader care about an unsymapthetic character. If you enjoyed Patrick Suskind''s Perfume, you''ll love this.''---- Daily Express

''It is an audacious novelist who can so knowingly prefigure the symbolism at the heart of his own work without threatening the success of the entire enterprise. It is fortunate, then, that Miller is a writer of subtlety and skill...Unlike many parables, however, PURE is neither laboured nor leaden. 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''---- Clare Clark, Guardian

''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. Expect this on the Booker longlist, at the very least''---- The Times

''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 ... Miller''s newly minted sentences are arresting, often unsettling and always thought-provoking. 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.''---- Holly Kyte, Telegraph

''This is a tale about "the beauty and mystery of what is most ordinary.".. Miller lingers up close on details: sour breath, decaying objects, pretty clothes, flames, smells, eyelashes... He is also 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, Culture

''almost dreamlike, a realistic fantasy, a violent fairytale for adults''---- Brian Lynch, Irish Times

''enthralling...superbly researched, brilliantly narrated and movingly resolved.''---- Robert McCrum, The Observer

'Quietly powerful, consistently surprising, PURE is a fine addition to substantial body of work ... pre-revolutionary Paris is evoked in pungent detail ... By concentrating on the bit players and byways of history, Miller conjures up an eerily tangible vanished world.'---- Suzi Feay, Financial Times

'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 ... Miller's newly minted sentences are arresting, often unsettling and always thought-provoking. 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.'---- Holly Kyte, Telegraph

'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. Above all he brings off that difficult trick of making the reader care about an unsymapthetic character. If you enjoyed Patrick Suskind's Perfume, you'll love this.'---- Daily Express

'It is an audacious novelist who can so knowingly prefigure the symbolism at the heart of his own work without threatening the success of the entire enterprise. It is fortunate, then, that Miller is a writer of subtlety and skill...Unlike many parables, however, PURE is neither laboured nor leaden. 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'---- Clare Clark, Guardian

'Murder, rape, seduction and madness impel this elegant novel ... Within this physical and political decay, Miller couches the heart of the matter: how to live one's life with personal integrity, with a purity not so much morally unblemished as unalloyed with the fads and opinions of society ... Miller populates Baratte's quest for equanimity with lush and tart characters, seductively fleshed out, who collectively help to deliver the bittersweet resolution of his professional and personal travails.'---- James Urquhart, Independent

'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. Expect this on the Booker longlist, at the very least'---- The Times

'almost dreamlike, a realistic fantasy, a violent fairytale for adults'---- Brian Lynch, Irish Times

'the book pulls off an ambitious project: to evoke a complex historical period through a tissue of deftly selected details.'---- Sunday Times, Culture

'enthralling...superbly researched, brilliantly narrated and movingly resolved.'---- Robert McCrum, The Observer

'This is a tale about "the beauty and mystery of what is most ordinary.".. Miller lingers up close on details: sour breath, decaying objects, pretty clothes, flames, smells, eyelashes... He is also 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

'One of the most brilliant aspects of Miller's writing is his ability to question unobtrusively, through style alone, sentimentality about both life under the Bourbons and the creative destruction of revolution ... he has an instinctive knack for casting bright similes, never overextended, that ripple suggestively ... The writing throughout is crystalline, uncontrived, striking and intelligent. You could call it pure.' -- Jonathan Beckman, Literary Review
'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 ... Miller's newly minted sentences are arresting, often unsettling and always thought-provoking. 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.' -- Holly Kyte, Telegraph
'Quietly powerful, consistently surprising, PURE is a fine addition to substantial body of work ... pre-revolutionary Paris is evoked in pungent detail ... By concentrating on the bit players and byways of history, Miller conjures up an eerily tangible vanished world.' -- Suzi Feay, Financial Times
'Murder, rape, seduction and madness impel this elegant novel ... Within this physical and political decay, Miller couches the heart of the matter: how to live one's life with personal integrity, with a purity not so much morally unblemished as unalloyed with the fads and opinions of society ... Miller populates Baratte's quest for equanimity with lush and tart characters, seductively fleshed out, who collectively help to deliver the bittersweet resolution of his professional and personal travails.' -- James Urquhart, Independent
'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. Above all he brings off that difficult trick of making the reader care about an unsymapthetic character. If you enjoyed Patrick Suskind's Perfume, you'll love this.' -- Daily Express
'It is an audacious novelist who can so knowingly prefigure the symbolism at the heart of his own work without threatening the success of the entire enterprise. It is fortunate, then, that Miller is a writer of subtlety and skill...Unlike many parables, however, PURE is neither laboured nor leaden. 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' -- Clare Clark, Guardian
'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. Expect this on the Booker longlist, at the very least' -- The Times
'This is a tale about "the beauty and mystery of what is most ordinary..". Miller lingers up close on details: sour breath, decaying objects, pretty clothes, flames, smells, eyelashes... He is also 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, Culture
'almost dreamlike, a realistic fantasy, a violent fairytale for adults' -- Brian Lynch, Irish Times
'enthralling...superbly researched, brilliantly narrated and movingly resolved.' -- Robert McCrum, The Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The author of the prize-winning, hugely acclaimed INGENIOUS PAIN returns to the 18th century with an enthralling tale set in pre-revolutionary Paris. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Andrew Miller is a writer new to me, but on the evidence of this excellent book I have ordered a number of his other novels to read.

The story is a deceptively simple one concerning a young engineer from Normandy who is charged with the task of overseeing the destruction of the cemetery and church of Les Innocents in Les Halles in Paris in 1785. Miller is brilliant at evoking the period, and peoples his tale with a cast of fully fledged characters whose lives react with the engineer, Jean-Baptiste Baratte. In this year of work Baratte grows as a person and this in itself is worth the price of the book, but where Miller really scores is in his subtle laying out the undercurrents of disquiet and unrest which would eventually lead to bloodshed and revolution. From the dog pissing on the parquet of the neglected Palace of Versailles to the mysterious graffiti which appears threatening change, this is a city on the cusp of something terrible.

The removal of the bones of the dead accompanied by disgruntled priests singing prayers seems a shadow of what will come. All this is accomplished in the most wonderful prose. Miller has an absolute gift for finding the most apposite phrase.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and recommend it very highly indeed.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Initially I approached this book with some caution. The only other Andrew Miller novel I'd read many years before was Ingenious Pain, and although I could see that it was a great novel, I did find it hard going at the time. The premise of his latest though was so attractive, and by the second chapter I was hooked on this rather original historical novel.

Pure is set in 1785, shortly before the French Revolution. Jean-Baptiste Baratte is a young Norman engineer, hired by the King's offices to oversee the cleansing of an overfilled and now closed Parisian cemetery and its church, that is poisoning the earth and air all around it. Nice job eh? Jean-Baptiste heads off into Paris, where lodgings have been set up with a local family overlooking the cemetery. He soon makes friends with Armand, the church organist, and finds that everything smells better after a brandy or two. He contacts his colleague from his last job at the mines at Valenciennes - Lecoeur will bring a team of miners to Paris to dig out the cemetery. Jeanne, the teenaged grand-daughter of the sexton will look after the men - indeed most of them grow to love her as their own daughter.

All is set and the excavation is underway. Some doctors arrive, including one Dr Guillotin - yes! He is there to examine the bones, but his presence will prove necessary on many occasions over the following months - injury, illness, attempted murder, rape, suicide - everything will happen to those involved on this job. But it's not all bad, for Jean-Baptiste will also find love in an unexpected place.

The story is entirely that of Jean Baptiste - he is present on every page.
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Format: Paperback
In 1785, a young engineer, Jean-Baptiste Baratte, is given a job - to demolish an over-crowded graveyard and moribund church in Paris. This book tells the story of that demolition and of what happens to Jean-Baptiste during a momentous year.

Pure is a 'literary' novel and, for me, almost perfectly demonstrates what I both love and loathe in 'literary' books. What I love is the beautiful prose, the choice of the perfect word to paint a picture, evoke a character or describe a scene. For example, the cemetery's contents have to be ceremoniously removed and taken to a disused quarry and, to ease public disquiet, the disinterred corpses are to be treated with respect. Miller writes: 'The horses wait patiently in their traces. Now and then one scrapes a hoof over the cobbles. The priests are pale, rehearsed, young, competitively pious. They grip their flambeaux, glance at their neighbours, glance at the carts with their velvet-draped loads.' That one phrase - competitively pious - tells me all I need to know about the pre-revolutionary state of the church in France. Literary writing of this calibre never patronises the reader.

However, all the things I loathe in 'literary' books are also here: the absence of a strong plot, the heavy use of allegory, the lack of reactive emotions and the seeming randomness of characters' actions because no explanation for motive is ever forthcoming. Sometimes I'd quite like to have things explained to me, please - damn it, I need to be patronised!

There is a lot to be admired in such beautiful and evocative prose and I'm not surprised it won the 2011 Costa prize - it's the sort of book that wins prizes. All in all, I'm glad I read it and I would recommend it, although not without reservations.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wasn't quite sure what to make of this book, having read a few of the reviews available. It seemed that it was a book that a reader would either love or hate. I absolutely loved this book; it was totally wonderful, absolutely and utterly engrossing; and wonderfuly atmospheric. A book to sink into, to lose oneself in and to absorb slowly the words that roll off the page.

Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young engineer (a profession relatively new to these pre-French Revolution days of 1785) is summoned to Versailles, there tasked by one of the King's Ministers with the exhumation and removal of the cemetry at Les Innocents, and the demolition of the church, closed for the last five years because of subsidence and its inability to "hold on to its dead". Jean-Baptiste is young, naïve, unsure of his own place in the world, and his own abilities; what does he want to be - a "man of the future" building a career in Paris, or a young man from Normandy who wants nothing more than to return to his roots? His hesitance, his uncertainty, is revealed not only in the story, but in the style of writing. And what beautiful writing; here is the description of a church organist playing a Couperin trio from memory, "his spine and neck arched slightly backwards as though the organ was a coach-and-six and he was hurtling through the centre of les Halles, scattering geese and cabbages and old women". Wonderful.

This changes as the story evolves; during the year of his work at Les Innocents, the reader is subtly drawn into the change in Jean-Baptiste, as he becomes more confident and more sure of his place in the world; his thinking, and the style of writing in the book becomes more strident, more assured, more blunt and forthright.
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