Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 05/01/2012
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Bookseller Reviews

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Young and still somewhat idealistic, provincial engineer Jean-Baptiste Baratte has come to the Palace of Versailles seeking a prestigious commission that h... READ MORE
Erin Britton
Bones Laid Bare
Out of a small scrap of information about the removal of bones from a cemetery in the heart of a growing Paris in 1785 Andrew Miller unfolds a stunning por... READ MORE
David Learner
Thoroughly deserving of it's prize
This for me was a fabulously engaging read, full of imagery that conjured up the grotesque task that awaits Barratte in Les Innocents. The idea of the rott... READ MORE
Mairi Lovatt Smith at Banbury
Unique and very creative!
This book is almost as comical as it is dark, and it really grew on me as I continued to read. It moves along at a quiet pace, but then will hit you with a... READ MORE
Naomi S at Stirling
Good but a disappointing Costa winner
This book has received glowing reviews and was awarded this years Costa Prize, as a result I had fairly high expectations when I started out and being a fa... READ MORE
Jen Wootton at Covent Garden
A Worthy Winner
Normally I don't pay attention to book prize winners, as I like to let the book speak for itself (and can often avoid a book as I worry about hype). Howeve... READ MORE
Suzie Robinson
A very enjoyable and readable novel concerning a young engineer who is hired to remove the old and putrid cemetery of Les Innocents in Paris - a straightfo... READ MORE
Neill Walker@Coleraine


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.

  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
  • ISBN: 9781444724288
  • Number of pages: 352
  • Weight: 242g
  • Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 23 mm

Customer Reviews

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Well deserved prize winner
My uncle works for BA and often brings home books he's found discarded on the plane. This was one of those books and what a special find it was! I found my... READ MORE
Surprisingly good!
This book was chosen for me as a book group read, and I honestly wasn't expecting to enjoy it. So I was very surprised to find myself whipped up by the biz... READ MORE
I treated myself and bought the whole set of book club suggestions and this is the first one I've read and it has set the bar very high for the rest to fol... READ MORE
She who is too fond of books
Couldn't put it down!
Absolutely loved this book. I found myself picking up the book at every opportunity and was quite disappointed that it had to end. Miller really brings his... READ MORE
A great read
This book has the whiff of reality all over it, as if one reads the account of someone there and then writing down experiences. Without resorting to werewo... READ MORE
Utterly compelling.
This is a work of mesmerizing genius. Set against the backdrop of the clearing of the notorious Cemetery of the Innocents in 1780s Paris our hero, a young,... READ MORE
Nocturnal bibliophile
An excellent read.
I picked this up on a whim not having read it when it first came out having found the cover and the blurb strangely off putting! Anyway, really glad I boug... READ MORE
So very interesting, such a lot of really pertinent research for the story and so many very real people. One has to admire Andrew Miller for faultless stor... READ MORE
I somehow expected more from this book given the reviews, but it failed to to intrigue or excite me.