History of a Pleasure Seeker
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From the acclaimed author of The Drowning People (“A literary sensation” —The New York Times Book Review) and Natural Elements (“A magnum opus” —The New Yorker), an opulent, romantic coming-of-age drama set at the height of Europe’s belle époque, written in the grand tradition with a lightness of touch that is wholly modern and original.
The novel opens in Amsterdam at the turn of the last century. It moves to New York at the time of the 1907 financial crisis and proceeds onboard a luxury liner headed for Cape Town.
It is about a young man—Piet Barol—with an instinctive appreciation for pleasure and a gift for finding it. Piet’s father is an austere administrator at Holland’s oldest university. His mother, a singing teacher, has died—but not before giving him a thorough grounding in the arts of charm.
Piet applies for a job as tutor to the troubled son of Europe’s leading hotelier: a child who refuses to leave his family’s mansion on Amsterdam’s grandest canal. As the young man enters this glittering world, he learns its secrets—and soon, quietly, steadily, finds his life transformed as he in turn transforms the lives of those around him.
History of a Pleasure Seeker is a brilliantly written portrait of the senses, a novel about pleasure and those who are in search of it; those who embrace it, luxuriate in it, need it; and those who deprive themselves of it as they do those they love. It is a book that will beguile and transport you—to another world, another time, another state of being.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
History of a Pleasure Seeker is a fantastic read!!!!
I am a 50 year old heterosexual American guy whose reading preferences are normally geared toward anything dealing with current events, and military special forces. I ended up reading a review of this book in the Herald Tribune while on a flight from Karachi. I found this book to be an extraordinary work. It was an exceptionally well written story and even erotic. It was also engaging to the imagination. The vocabulary used was very interesting. In just about every ten pages my vocabulary was substantially enhanced. It is worth buying and reading during a long flight.
As a gay man I was pretty impressed with the fact that "Gay" characters were included in this book. they all come off as a bit perverted and either stalking types or hopelessly saddened by unrequited love, but hey, at least they're in the book! Otherwise, I kept expecting things to happen that never ended up happening or praying things didn't happen that DID! By the last chapter I was just reading very fast waiting for it to end, which sadly it kind of never did end. I finished the book with a sigh of relief and a longing for the money I used to buy this never ending story refunded to my iTunes account.
What fun! and Brilliant to boot.
I just finished this book...and I am sad to have done so, but Mr. Mason promises to write more about M. Barol. But how can I wait?
This is funny, captivating, thrilling, and extremely well writen.
Few books have left me feeling lost when knowing I have no more of them to read: Buddenbrooks, Age of Innocence, Sea of Poppies, Atonement, Palace Walk, and this, History of a Pleasure Seeker.