History of a Pleasure Seeker
By Richard Mason
George Weidenfeld & Nicholson, Hardcover, 9780297861058
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
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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.