• by Andrew Miller
  • Narrated by Jonathan Aris
  • 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Slow build unease and beautiful language

The true story at the centre of the book - the removal of thousands of bodies/bones from central Paris - is really amazing; but it plays an almost secondary role in this book as the main emphasis is on the characters and the atmosphere. These are compelling, as is the use of language by A Miller: sometimes clipped and spare, at others almost florid and often very beautiful. I wasn't as engaged by the book as I had hoped, possibly because I didn't really like any of the characters very much. However, it is well worthy of 4 stars. There is a sense of anxiety, bordering on menace at times, that builds gradually, not surprising given the subject matter. Very well narrated.
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- Alison

A great glimpse of pre-revolutionary France

I really enjoyed this book. The whole atmosphere was very true to the period. It was well-written and despite continually filling me with a slight sense of dread, I liked it! I finished it a couple of weeks ago and to my surprise have found myself missing it. It somehow gets to you.

I thought the read was quite good. Not outstanding but definitely didn't detract from the story.
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- Natalie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 29-03-2012
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton