My rating 3 / 5
Pure was loaned to me by a colleague, who promised that the book was beautifully written. I can’t argue with that, it certainly is. It’s almost poetic in it’s form, and the author has a really good way with words and the descriptive nature of the writing is sublime.
I found it a bit of an unusual novel, for the first 100 pages or so, it felt like not a lot happened, and the story ambled along following Jean Baptiste, the young engineer, as he was tasked with the unenviable task of moving the cemetery of ‘Les Innocents’ and the accompanying church.
I’m not sure accurate the book is in terms of the historical context, I’ve read a few reviews on amazon where Miller has been criticised for his historical accuracy, but, I guess as long as you’re not looking for a reference book, some poetic licence is OK. The prose is atmospheric and descriptive and you get a fill for Jean Baptiste, his living arrangements with the Monanrds and the cemetery itself.
In terms of the quality of the prose, this is a five star book, but for me, the story lacked a bit of depth and real ‘oommpph’ in terms of the twists and turns you might expect.
It’s worth a look, but I think just judging by the array of amazon reviews, this is a bit of a marmite book.