Customer Reviews for

History of a Pleasure Seeker

Average Rating 3.5
( 25 )
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5 Star

(8)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted February 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Bit of A Tease

    Piet Barol is a classic, seductive, golden boy who comes from modest means, but rises with the help of good looks and some common-sense charm that carries him a long way. The book is divided into two parts, with Piet Barol the focal character that pulls it together. The first half is intriguing and builds as the imperfections, phobias, morals and obstacles of the characters are revealed. Based on this, I would have rated the book higher, but then disappointment occurs when the period with the Vermeulen-Sickerts family is neatly tied up and Piet Barol abandons ship and sets sail to Cape Town. It is too neat and tidy for my taste. All is so quickly forgiven and realized, which gave me pause. However, there is room for a sequel and I'm hoping this is merely a set-up for more to come, but despite Piet's evident talent of the tongue, he left me unsatisfied. The second half takes place on the ship heading to Cape Town. This is a bit rushed and convenient as well. Piet gets himself in some situations, but is always saved or let off the dangle rather easily. This decreases the tension and gives a ho-hum outcome. It's a touch taboo and a bit randy in places, but all in all too light in scandal and risk. I wanted more at stake, or at least a better build up with nail-biting disappointment. History of A Pleasure Seeker floats causally like an imposter at a party no one really cares if you crash.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2012

    Tries hard, but ultimately an unsatisfying bodice ripper

    You can see that much research went into this book - research on the city of Amsterday, rich people's toys, what was fashionable in 1907, how the second Plaza Hotel was constructed in New York, sea voyages. It has one interesting plot device - using operatic music to communicate when society forbids communication. For the research and this one device, 2 stars. But sadly, the book is ultimately unsatisfying. It's not for want of the detail, or the many characters, or the detailed descriptions of various sex acts. It's because there is so little real plot, real affection or real pleasure in the characters' lives, and there are so many contradictions. It does not take long to realize that the "pleasure seeker" of the title is really a gigolo, that the main character's true occupation is selling sex for immediate personal gain, starting in the first few pages. What is surprising are all the contradictions in the book, and the unreality that makes the reader wonder if it has veered into magical realism. Contradictions like telling us again and again that Piet, the main character, is ambitious, and planning a future as a businessman - but when he finally makes a career move, he has no real plan, and is readily swayed by the rich people around him. There are so many plot devices that seem fantastical - sudden cures, sudden reconciliations, and strange turns of events that lead nowhere. Finding the dreaded three little words "to be continued" on the last page was worrying - oh no, more words are coming about characters' aimless, unhappy behavior in pursuit of riches - but not much story. If there had been more character development, rather than character repetition - did we need to hear about Piet's parents over and over? - it might have had a chance to be an interesting book. As it is, it is really simply a bodice-ripper (or the male equivalent, is that a singlet-ripper??) featuring soft porn interludes - lots of disrobing and gushing goes on - with no real story. Sadly, not recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Sensual & Sophisticated

    Enjoyed this book very much, good adaption of thetime period and class distinction. Well written

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2012

    I found this novel unique and well-crafted and I will read the s

    I found this novel unique and well-crafted and I will read the sequel, if it comes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

    Not worth reading the free sample, let alone buying the entire book.

    This is a story about a boy so beautiful, everyone wants him, and yadda, yadda, yadda. Boring, boring.

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  • Posted August 29, 2012

    I really can't explain why I loved this book, but I absorbed it.

    I really can't explain why I loved this book, but I absorbed it. It was so vivid, so full of razor sharp emotion, I could not put it down. It is beautifully written, sophisticated and yet vulgar at times. I can only hope that the character of Piet Barol will continue into new "pleasures".

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  • Posted April 27, 2012

    Beautifully written, even if it is a bagatelle...apparently, I h

    Beautifully written, even if it is a bagatelle...apparently, I hope, one of a series in the further adventures or Piet Barol. It drives you to turn the page to keep up with this most interesting and daring of lives.

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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Exploration of A Social Climber's Life

    It is 1907, and Piet Barot has come to Amsterdam to make his fortune. He has applied to be the tutor to the ten year old son of the fabulously wealthy Vermeulen-Sickerts family. Piet is moderately well-educated, can play the piano adequately and can sing. But his real assets are his looks and his ability to charm. His mother was a singer before marrying his father, and raised him to have the manners and knowledge that a wealthy young man would have.

    Piet is successful in getting the job, and uses it as a station to improve his lot. He charms each member of the family. Maarten is a successful businessman, but one who also made his way to the top and he sees himself in Piet. The two daughters of the family try to play with Piet as they do their suitors but he is able to avoid that trap and instead become their friend. The mother, Jacobina, is attracted to Piet, and he plays on that attraction to solidify his position. Piet is also, after many months, able to free the son from the phobias that have restricted his life.

    Mason has created a character that will long remain in the reader's mind, as they try to determine if he is an admirable figure or a scoundrel. Piet shows flashes of both, along with a steely determination to live life on his own terms and use all his strengths to make his way in the world. This book is recommended for readers interested in the golden age of Europe and the way the upper class lived.

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  • Posted March 28, 2012

    highly recommended

    good read . look forward to the next installment----- I hope

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    It was an OK period piece

    The book move slowly and methodically through the life of the key participant as a tutor to a rich family in Amersterdam. The story of him on the ocean liner to Africa was a bit unreal. Sex scenes with the mother were well done. Actually would have liked more or that. Really disappointed to have book end with "To Be Continued"

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    OK

    Maybe I shouldn't have read it right after my Downton Abbey high? The emphasis in this book ended up being on the sexual proclivities of the main character and his many conquests instead of further developing the fascinating story line of the talented under dog working hard to improve his lot in life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

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    Posted March 11, 2012

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    Posted May 25, 2012

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    Posted July 15, 2012

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    Posted March 14, 2012

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    Posted April 22, 2012

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    Posted June 20, 2013

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    Posted April 13, 2012

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    Posted March 13, 2012

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