Pure

Pure

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
8
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Deep in the heart of Paris its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing. Its stench hangs in the air, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. The over-filled graves pop and burst, filling people's basements with bones and spreading disease across the capital. But the cemetery's roots are embedded deep in the hearts and minds of the people, for whom the graveyard has long provided a backdrop to their daily lives. 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. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.
Publisher: London : Sceptre, 2011.
ISBN: 9781444724257
1444724258
Branch Call Number: HISTORICAL
Characteristics: 346 p. ;,23 cm.

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ChristchurchLib Jul 24, 2014

In 1785, engineer Jean-Baptiste Baratte is brought from Normandy to Paris, where he must exhume the bodies entombed in Les Innocents in preparation for the cemetery's closure. Initially embracing the challenge - which will prevent the burial ground's noxious gases and decomposing body parts from ... Read More »


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finn75
Sep 13, 2015

Historical fiction at its best.

ChristchurchLib Jul 24, 2014

In 1785, engineer Jean-Baptiste Baratte is brought from Normandy to Paris, where he must exhume the bodies entombed in Les Innocents in preparation for the cemetery's closure. Initially embracing the challenge - which will prevent the burial ground's noxious gases and decomposing body parts from poisoning the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods - Jean-Baptiste soon realizes that his task is more dangerous than he could have imagined. In addition to vermin, disease, fire, and cave-ins, he must also contend with political unrest that is rapidly escalating into full-scale revolution.
Historical Fiction July 2014 Newsletter.

e
Eosos
Jun 06, 2014

This author has a really poetic way of telling a story. I didn't personally find it appealing and thus perceived the tale as a bit plodding.
I had no connection to the characters, story or writing and I felt it really skimmed the surface without offering much depth.
I did think the pre-revolution setting was fantastic. It sounds like a very interesting time in Paris and a great era to find more information on.

m
mclarjh
May 13, 2013

Conventional, traditional (not modern) storytelling. Unimaginative characters, no insight here, but an easy read nonetheless.

dead_bird_by_bird Jan 15, 2013

This left me a little disappointed and continually waiting for the book to pick up the pace.

I understand it's a move up to the French Revolution and you can see quite a lot of connections in the characters to the drudgery of the plots.

It's a good book but I kept wanting just a little more than what was delivered.

m
maven
Sep 09, 2012

Not quite what I expected, but a fairly interesting book throughout. The blurb on the inside cover seemed to suggest something more was going to happen, though it never quite materialized.

msmigels Aug 01, 2012

I enjoyed this book, but was left unsatisfied. I wanted more about the politics of the time and more of an insight into the perspectives of the people in pre-Revolutionary Paris, since 'the writing was already on the wall'.

c
crayment
Jul 31, 2012

Paris just prior to the revolution, vividly imagined. Definitely worth hanging in past the slow start.

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