- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: W&N (8 Sept. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1474602339
- ISBN-13: 978-1474602334
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.4 x 23.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 207,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Who Killed Piet Barol? Hardcover – 8 Sep 2016
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Utterly entrancing...Richard Mason has created an epic narrative in which human failure and decency are opposing forces. Mason entwines the divided racial strands of South Africa in 1914, in a riveting tale seen through the eyes of both colonial whites and tribal black South Africans, as their paths converge in a search for survival and a better life. The novel is written by a master of prose who instinctively knows how to make the reader turn pages fast but also sets in motion trains of thought which demand slow, profound analysis as a seemingly playful lie spirals into an explosion of greed, lust and ruthless ambition. Set against the backdrop of ancient forests, this novel also explores the magic of nature and spirituality, and how man's noblest and most ignoble aims can sometimes co-exist in the same space.... I wanted to re-reread it immediately. Richard Mason is a distinctive voice in British fiction whose elegant prose has marked him out as one of the outstanding writers of his generation (Geordie Greig, Editor, Mail on Sunday)
A triumph of a novel. It's a book that you can't help being totally caught up in...powerfully evocative and wholly absorbing. Human passions, the lust for power and status, and the inevitable fallibilities of man and beast are drawn with exquisite detail. It's a book that works on many, many levels, and lingers with you gently for many days after you reach its extraordinary end... (Gill Penlington, Director of News and Event Programming CNN London)
A stunning tour de force that will leave you gripped, moved and inspired. A richly atmospheric historical novel that says much about the way we live now, Who Killed Piet Barol? is a book to read again and again: a compelling story written in luminous prose with vividly-realised characters. This is a book by a serious writer at the height of his powers (Alex Preston, author of This Bleeding City)
This is a gorgeous treat of a novel, full of contradictions and subtleties (THE TIMES)
This is one of the finest novels I have read for many years (Cape Times)
Mason elegantly rotates between characters with wisdom, pathos and real humour (PRESS ASSOCIATION)
Mason continues to earn his reputation with exquisitely crafted sentences and a dizzying knack for storytelling (Kirkus Reviews)
With echoes of Paul Theroux's Mosquito Coast, Mason unspools a story rich in detail and populated with deeply flawed characters whose lives intersect in the once-pristine forest that inspires acts sacred and profane. Mason handles multiple story lines with the élan of a seasoned raconteur (Publishers Weekly)
This is a highly original book. Part magic realism, part fable, part history and wholly engrossing (The Times, Books of the Year)
Exquisite and gripping (Observer, Books of the Year)
In elegant, sensuous prose ... Mason imbues the forest with life, taking readers inside the psyche of each tree, animal, or insect ... Mason's previous novels have been long-listed for the IMPAC, Sunday Times Literary, and Lambda Literary awards. This profoundly tragic tale, in which colonialism battles tribal customs, and divisions of race and class sow distrust, should put him over the top (Library Journal, Starred Review)
A perfect example of what makes Mason such a superb writer; his novels tell the rare and profound kind of truth that only stellar fiction can (Pretoria News)
This riveting tale is set in South Africa in 1914 as a world war looms, and is told from the perspective of both colonial whites and tribal blacks. (MAIL ON SUNDAY)
An ambitious, elegantly written novel with a touch of magic (National Book Review)
Richard Mason's page-turning sequel to HISTORY OF A PLEASURE SEEKER, the continued adventures of the inimitable Piet Barol . . .See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a well narrated and absorbing story, though the constant switch from the white Western mentality and the black Bantu state of mind is quite destabilising – which is most probably precisely the author’s intention. Without giving anything away, the author’s choice of the title is a bit of a puzzle as well!
As In all societies the lack of understanding between cultures leads to tension and this can be very destructive. Fortunately this doesn't happen. All is brought to a conclusion in the final few pages and the title of the book is fulfilled. Fairly graphic in places but part of life.
There is a section at the front which gives the names of the locals and bit about them as the author uses their African names. Very useful as a reference if you put the book down for a few days.
I enjoyed the story and the way its written and the fact it's about a section of life that I have only been slightly acquainted with over the years.
I’m Ukrainian; I arrived in South Africa in 2002 at age 24. It soon became my new country where I felt at home from the first day. And what a special opportunity to learn some history of South Africa from a dynamic story, like - Who Killed Piet Barol? by Richard Mason. His writing reaches the level of a pink diamond quality.
The young and talented author is a great believer in the power of fiction to tell the truth. And being a believer myself in what you believe is what you receive, the experience of this book fulfills senses beyond expectations.
Who Killed Piet Barol? is a unique add to your reading menu. It proved to be a tantalizing saga of sex, lust, love and money, as fresh in 1914 as in 2017. You’ll get the caramel touch of romanticism, spiced by the grand details of colonial life amongst Europeans, served with a salted layer of the majesty of African natives culture, whipped into a sour race discrimination, and polished with a bitter truth of history.
Who Killed Piet Barol? has a magic power of a time- traveling machine. Get the book and enjoy the ride. Pleasure guaranteed!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A quirky interesting book that evokes an atmosphere of life in Southern Africa. An interesting read, well eorth a lookPublished 18 days ago by Patrolling Hamster
This is a very complex, intricate, and vividly-written story that I did not want to finish! It's funny, sexy and just all around a delicious tale. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
Mason is a masterful choreographer, carefully arranging both characters and audience in the plot.Published 1 month ago by Alexander Hayward
This is a sequel to "History of a Pleasure Seeker," which introduced the character of Piet Barol. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Rachel Klingberg
This is not a straight forward story! There's lots of contradicting forces operating in the meanderings of this narrative. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Esme
A thrilling tour de force for Mason. The rich and layered prose combined with an exciting native make for a completely engrossing read.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer