I knew that I would love Beware of Pity before I picked it up. It was a no-brainer, meant for me like candy for children or porn for teenage boys. It pushed all my buttons, to wit: it is set just before World War I (two of my favorite books of all time, Remembrance of Things Past and The Man Without Qualities also date from this period), it's very talky, and - as announced by the title - its message is counter-intuitive.
Of course, the inevitable happened and I absolutely adored Beware of Pity. Between this and Stuff White People Like, it's becoming painfully clear that I'm a very predictable sort of person.
Anyhow, I recommend the book very highly to anyone who likes good books - especially lovers of the above-mentioned titles, or W.G. Sebald. It's a fantastic story, mordant but not too dark, and the new translation just published by New York Review Books is a real pleasure to read.