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History of a Pleasure Seeker Bets On...

History of a Pleasure Seeker

February 2012

HISTORY OF A PLEASURE SEEKER by Richard Mason is set in Amsterdam at the turn of the 20th century at the height of Europe’s Belle Époque. The book isa fast-paced story that is full of great atmospheric detail. From the rich descriptions, I immediately felt like I was inside one of the homes on the Gilded Curve with the main character Piet Barol, an attractive, cunning and scheming young man.

Piet is there to inquire about a position as a tutor in the Vermeulen-Sickerts family. But as the interview process continues, we see that Piet is assessing the needs of more than just the young student who he is planning to tutor --- the boy’s mother and sisters quickly capture his attention as well. The story follows him as he makes his way through the world of the wealthy, seeking pleasure wherever he can. Piet is adept at identifying people’s needs and fulfilling them with great charm to get his needs taken care of as well. It’s wickedly fun and smart --- and very, very sexy.

While the first three-quarters of the book is set in Amsterdam and New York, the final segment takes place on a cruise ship headed to Cape Town as Piet sets his sights on yet another world to conquer. My son, Greg, a self-ascribed “ship geek,” thought those scenes captured the lush life upon the seas. While the descriptions are rich, the writing is spare --- on purpose. Richard wrote the book completely by hand, feeling that the computers allow writers to bloat their prose while it’s much tighter when being handwritten. The result completely works.

Reading it was a lovely pleasure --- and I found myself taking the three words that close it very much to heart. What are they? Well, you will have to read it to find out.

History of a Pleasure Seeker
by Richard Mason

  • Publication Date: February 7, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • ISBN-10: 0307599477
  • ISBN-13: 9780307599476