Listen free for 30 days

  • History of a Pleasure Seeker

  • By: Richard Mason
  • Narrated by: Dan Stevens
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (56 ratings)

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
History of a Pleasure Seeker cover art

History of a Pleasure Seeker

By: Richard Mason
Narrated by: Dan Stevens
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £18.99

Buy Now for £18.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Piet Barol is an alluring and intelligent young man who has escaped his drab existence, living with his father in the university town of Leiden, and moved to Amsterdam to take up a job at a stunning mansion in the city's 'Gilded Curve'. He has been employed by the extremely wealthy Vermeulen-Sickerts family to tutor their son Egbert, a boy with prodigious musical talent who has not set foot outside for a year and a half. Piet soon attracts the attentions of Constance and Louisa, the boy's two sisters, and their mother Jacobina who has been living in a sexless marriage since her husband made a pledge to God. Piet is determined to find a way of gaining entry to high society, through the family, although he must also retain the good will of his fellow servants. Piet finds many ways to pursue his pleasure-seeking ways, but when he seduces - or is seduced by - Jacobina, the future he has been so carefully building could vanish...

©2011 Richard Mason (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited

What listeners say about History of a Pleasure Seeker

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    33
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    13
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly pleasurable...

This fabulous story was not what I expected, however, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it progressed on its journey of love and betrayal mixed with at times shocking eroticism. The main character was portrayed in a way which made me both love him and hate him, but in the end wanting him to succeed... The open ending has left much to be desired - so to speak - and it will be interesting to see what happens next to Piet Barol.
Dan Stevens' narration is simply perfect, no surprises there (he is indeed one of my favourite actors). I have listened to this book twice now. :)

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Dan Stevens' voice is like liquid gold!

Tour de force performance from Dan Stevens who is not only a brilliant narrator but incredibly talented with various accents and styles. A very engaging, saucy little story.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Great Pleasure

This is a beautifully written story which exquisitely conjures up an imagined early 20th Century Amsterdam and life in a great house on the Herengracht Canal. The narration suits the book perfectly and, when combined with a very thoughtful and polished production, takes the listening experience beyond that achieved by most audio books.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An original and entertaining story

I greatly enjoyed this unusual book,which was beautifully read by Dan Stevens.The main character was not likeable but he was interesting and unpredictable and the whole scenario made a refreshing change.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Dan Stevens is Amazing !!

Brought on whim due to its narrator.

Stevens surely can do a wide range of accents.

The story does dip a bit towards the end . There is a sequel book. Checking to see if It has the same narrator 😁

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Terrific storytelling by both author and narrator

This book ended far too quickly for me. It was a clever story, really rich in detail and characterisation, and Dan Stevens was an inspired narrator. His voice perfectly captured the beautiful language that Richard Mason wrote, and I was engaged throughout.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully Written

I loved this book & didn't want it to end, The narration was perfect & the musical inserts added to the enjoyment. You really felt as though you were living through it & the characters were very believable. Can't wait for the next one.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Totally engaging...

Often wander off if the audiobook is not quite up to scratch. This one held my attention all the way through. Very, very good.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Super scrummy

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. I've forced two friends to take it on and they adored it too; partly because the novel is rich and unusual and compelling and partly because we would listen to Dan Stevens read out numbers from the 'phone book; his voice is warm and confiding and a bit secretive which suits Piet Barol.

What other book might you compare History of a Pleasure Seeker to, and why?

To Jesse Burton's The Miniaturist - if only geographically and because it touches on things that Anglophones find fascinating about Holland - but some of the historical setting puts one in mind of Proust or Miklos Banffy.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The Bath Tub! I had to stop the car. But there were a great number of good scenes and barely any of them dragged.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

You really can't improve on the title.

Any additional comments?

An excellent pairing of novel and narrator.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

'A sharply written story of love and money

Any additional comments?

Piet Barol has an instinctive appreciation for pleasure and a gift for finding it. When his mother dies, 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 one of Amsterdam’s grandest canals. As Piet enters this glittering world, he learns its secrets and finds his life transformed.

A brilliantly written portrait of the senses, History of a Pleasure Seeker is an opulent, romantic coming-of-age drama set at the height of Europe’s Belle Époque, written with a lightness of touch that is wholly modern and original.