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  • Sceptre
  • Sceptre
  • Sceptre

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Historical fiction

*WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD*

REISSUED AS A SCEPTRE 30TH CLASSIC

WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD (2011)

A year of bones, of grave-dirt, relentless work. Of mummified corpses and chanting priests.

A year of rape, suicide, sudden death. Of friendship too. Of desire. Of love...

A year unlike any other he has lived.

Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. 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, a fitting task for a modern man of reason. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.

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Praise for Pure

  • 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 poli

  • 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

  • * The 2011 Costa Book of the Year * - .

  • Praise for Oxygen - -

  • 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 p

  • 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

  • Quietly powerful, consistently surprising, PURE is a fine addition to substantial body of work - Suzi Feay, Financial Times

  • Praise for ONE MORNING LIKE A BIRD - .

  • A revelatory perspective on an Eastern city in the second world war . . .The prose is as delicate as a Japanese print - Sunday Times

  • Not only does he combine delicious literary conceits with thought-provoking explorations into the human condition, he has the rare gift of tossing out perfect sentences that make you stop in your tracks - Metro

  • 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

  • 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 bitterswe

  • If you like your books filled with beautiful prose, a slow-moving and subtle but satisfying plot and carefully, fully drawn characters, then this book is for you. - Courier Mail

  • 'Elegantly written.' - Who Weekly

  • * THE 2011 COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR* - .

  • Miller's masterful coming-of-age story ranges from a subtle and spare, occasionally Zen-like, poetry to an almost Proustian evocation of experiential time. - The Age

  • 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 . . . 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, Sunday Telegraph

  • Miller s delicate prose most closely recalls the tone of emotional restraint in Kazuo Ishiguro s early novels . . . deftly coheres into a typically bittersweet resolution. - Independent on Sunday

  • Murder, rape, seduction and madness impel this elegant novel . . . Within this physical a

  • The writing throughout is crystalline, uncontrived, striking and intelligent. You could call it pure. - Jonathan Beckman, Literary Review

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Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller's first novel, Ingenious Pain, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and greeted as the debut of an outstanding new writer. It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour Prize for the best foreign novel published in Italy.

It was followed by Casanova, then Oxygen, which was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award in 2001, The Optimists, and One Morning Like A Bird. In 2011, his sixth novel, Pure, was published to great acclaim and went on to win the Costa Book of the Year Award.

Andrew Miller's novels have been translated into thirty languages. Born in Bristol in 1960, he has lived in Spain, Japan, France and Ireland, and currently lives in Somerset.