Piet Barol, the young protagonist of Richard Mason’s thoroughly engaging fourth novel, possesses such intense social ambition that even Edith Wharton would be impressed. It’s turn-of-the-century Amsterdam, and the charming Piet is hired as a tutor for the troubled son of a grand old family residing in an even grander house. Before long, members of the household fall prey to Piet’s seductions. Mason’s prose is lovely and rich, but the plot of History of a Pleasure Seeker — which goes to New York City during the financial crisis of 1907 as well as Cape Town, South Africa — loses a bit of oomph in the final chapters. B+
PLEASURE POINT Protagonist Piet Barol's social ambition fuels the plot in Mason's fourth novel
Genre: Fiction; Author: Richard Mason; Status: In Season; Publisher: Knopf
Posted February 10 2012 — 12:00 AM EST
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