Book Review: Who Killed Piet Barol?

RICHARD MASON’s picaresque History Of A Pleasure Seeker garnered strong reviews back in 2011, cementing Mason’s reputation as a skilled and versatile literary author.
Book Review: Who Killed Piet Barol?

This tangential sequel finds Piet and Stacey de Barol frantically prolonging their aristocratic masquerade among the South African white elite of 1914.

Near-bankrupt, Piet journeys to the remote Gwadana Forest on a quest for a mythical (and free) ‘furniture tree’ with which to save reputation and lifestyle, guided by two servants whose Xhosa tribe resides deep inside the forest.

As Piet establishes himself, the Xhosa’s generational politics offer, Marquez-like, a faintly magical realist counterpoint to the white obsession with hierarchy, while cultures clash and events unfold with classical inevitability.

Mason elegantly rotates between characters (and animals) with wisdom, pathos and real humour, gently but thoroughly exploring race and identity

Who Killed Piet Barol?

Richard Mason

Weidenfeld & Nicholson, £14.99;

ebook, £7.99

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