Day 1074: Pure

Cover for PureThe subject matter of Pure is unusual, and at times the events within the novel seem almost dreamlike in nature. It is an imaginative novel that evokes a real sense of place and period.

In pre-revolutionary France, Jean-Baptiste Baratte awaits a minister in Versailles to ask for employment. He is a young engineer and is hopeful to be given an interesting project.

He does get a job, but he is disappointed in its nature. The cemetery of les Innocents in Paris is so stuffed with remains that the nearby neighborhoods are being polluted. Jean-Baptiste is to oversee the removal of the remains and eventually the church. For the sake of discretion, he is not supposed to reveal his mission until he must.

The novel follows the provincial Jean-Baptiste for a year as he explores Paris and pursues his project. It conveys a strong sense of the city and of the effect of the cemetery on nearby residents.

This is another novel that I probably wouldn’t have read if it hadn’t been on my Walter Scott prize list. It is an interesting novel, reminding me a bit of Viper Wine.

Related Posts

Viper Wine

Merivel: A Man of His Time

La Reine Margot

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10 thoughts on “Day 1074: Pure

  1. Helen May 2, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    I found this an interesting novel too, and like you, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if it hadn’t been for the Walter Scott Prize. I’ve updated my page with your link. 🙂

  2. whatmeread May 2, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    Thanks! I should double check and make sure I have your link. I know that I recently discovered I had missed one of yours (since added).

    • whatmeread May 3, 2017 / 12:44 pm

      I read Perfume years ago (vivid) but not The Last Banquet. I’ll give it a try sometime. Thanks for the recommendations!

  3. Naomi May 3, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    This sounds like something a bit different…

    • whatmeread May 3, 2017 / 1:25 pm

      Yes, it is unusual. Pretty good, though.

  4. themisanthropologist May 3, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    I thought this novel was just “meh”….I hoped it would be better. Oh well…..

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