I'm very much between two stools in my opinion of this novel.I found the opening chapters engrossing and vivid,especially the semi surreal evocation of Versailles and the precise quality of language used in the descriptions of Paris,the lodgings of the chief protagonist and his macabre workplace.There also seemed to be a subtle,symbolic drive to the writing expressed in the putrefaction and stench which pervades the atmosphere and the early stirrings of revolt.
For me,at least,direction was lost about two thirds of the way through when the author's attention seemed to drift towards the development of Jean-Baptiste's personal life, the introduction of violent melodramatic episodes and descriptions of happy domesticity,none of which seemed particularly to lead anywhere.There was a brief revival of the memorable atmosphere evoked at the beginning in the final chapter but,by then,I'd found myself finishing the novel more as a chore than a pleasure.
I was very impressed by the early chapters and by the success in creating historical setting in intelligent and inventive prose but I must say the later sections of "Pure" left me disappointed.
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