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History of a Pleasure Seeker, Volume 1: The Gilded Curve

By Orson & Co.

This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.


Award-winning Orson (narrated illustrated book app) from Orson & Co: eLit Silver Medals for Historical and Literary Fiction and one of Digital Book World's Best Fiction Apps of 2012.

‘The best new work of fiction in many moons’ – Washington Post. DOWNTON ABBEY star Dan Stevens joins a stellar group of musicians, photographers, videographers and coders to bring Volume 1 of Richard Mason’s critically acclaimed HISTORY OF A PLEASURE SEEKER to life in a glorious digital edition.

‘A gorgeous confection’ (NY Times), HISTORY OF A PLEASURE SEEKER charts a young man’s quest for pleasure and meaning in the Gilded Age.

Piet Barol is 24 years old. Determined to leave his old life behind him, he takes a job as tutor to the ten year old son of one of Holland’s richest men. His new job requires him to walk a tightrope between delight and danger as he learns the secrets of a glittering family, and changes it forever.

HISTORY OF A PLEASURE SEEKER ‘ is a provocative joy’, says O Magazine.

In a groundbreaking celebration of the possibilities of a touchscreen device, this Orson edition allows you to:

* Read the story as a beautifully illuminated digital volume, each page laid out and illustrated by hand in the finest tradition.

* Tap any paragraph and have Dan Stevens read to you in a superbly produced audiobook. Step between reading and hearing modes at will.

* Listen to the music of the novel, specially recorded for the Orson by prize winning artists. As characters sing and play the music of Chopin, Bizet, Bach, Mozart and Puccini, tap a music illustration to hear them as you read.

* Look into street scenes of Amsterdam and New York in the early twentieth century.

* See inside the grand house, on the grandest canal in Amsterdam, in which the action takes place.

* Ask Richard Mason questions about the creation of the book and the app.

* Make notes, which you can email or post on Facebook or Twitter from within the Orson.

* Learn about the story’s historical context with essays written by a Yale academic covering topics like the Banking Panic of 1907, Luxury, the history of Holland and Amsterdam, and the Pleasures of the Belle Époque.

* Share your opinions with your friends via email, Twitter or Facebook.

It took 30 people over two years to make this Orson, which allows you to stimulate your senses as never before.

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What's New in Version 1.0.1

Updated for iOS 6. Download over wifi connection.


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Customer Reviews

Unparalleled and Outstanding New Direction in Storytelling

What an extraordinary new way to experience a novel! To feel at any point in the narrative that you can delve deeper into the details of a image, the broad scope of a landscape, the consequences of otherwise unknown historical context, or even the mind of the author himself is empowering and so enriching! This unique "e-lumination" seamlessly adds almost sensorial dimensions to an already captivating story. The change in the the experience of reading this book in print as opposed to reading it in this format is like moving from watching a 2-D linear black and white film - albeit one well told - into vibrant CGI 3-D experience complete with surround sound. And this application is more than simply having hyperlinks to encyclopedic information; rather, the quality of the notes and links provides almost a gateway into the visceral experiences of the characters and of the author. Surely it is only a matter of time before all stories are told in this manner.

What a pleasure!

One of the reasons I bought my iPad in the first place was because of the interactivity of the Beatrice Potter Peter Rabbit app and then Alice in Wonderland. So when I heard Richard Mason interviewed on TechNow I knew I had to get a grown up interactive book just for me. I loved everything about it. The author brought Amsterdam of 1907 vividly alive for me. The description of Egbert traversing the hall each morning gave me an understanding of OCD that I had never had before. I especially liked the way the music and imagery were woven into the pages of the story. It is a very sensual book and the music and images make it even more so. I understand that if you are listening to the author read the book to you, the music will continue from one page to the next. Now that I know that, I will just have to go back and experience it all over again.

Want more pleasure? You found it.

I hope this is the future of electronic reading. This was a sensuous treat for a devoted paper book reader like me. If you want to dive deep and really engage with a wonderful novel, this is the app for you.

When I was reading the book version, I wondered what something in E-flat major sounded like. With this eLume, I got to hear it played by the author no less, and beautifully integrated into the story. Richard Mason and his co-conspirators have created a very juicy, layered experience of his novel by embedding it with drawings, photographs and music plus short historical essays, video of the author answering questions and even the ability to take notes and share them with others. It's not an eBook; it's truly an eLume.

I set my iPhone 4* so that Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens could read me to sleep. But honestly, he mostly kept me up because I wanted to keep listening even though I knew the story. If you haven't already read the book or better yet, even if you have, you're in for a delicious and sensuous treat with this eLume. I can't wait for the next volume.

Would I recommend this? Wholeheartedly and with pleasure.

*For smooth sailing, make sure you have IOS6 installed on your phone prior to downloading the app.

History of a Pleasure Seeker, Volume 1: The Gilded Curve
View in iTunes
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • $12.99
  • Category: Books
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.0.1
  • Size: 525 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:
Rated 12+ for the following:
  • Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
  • Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content and Nudity

Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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