Review: “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles

Thumbs up for A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Literature.

A Russian Count is placed under house arrest in a Moscow hotel in the early 20’s. My two coworkers and I (I work in a bookstore) all have different taste in books, with areas of overlap. A Gentleman in Moscow is the first book we’ve all adored. Very few things are as purely charming. If you don’t read it with a smile on your face, I worry about you. It is droll, philosophical, and, despite the fact that almost all of it takes place in a single location, full of event. This is one of those rare situations in which the book everyone is talking about is genuinely a work of genius. Your friends who read a lot have probably been pestering you to read it; allow me to add my voice to theirs.

True, duels were fought by convention at dawn in isolated locations to ensure the privacy of the gentlemen involved. But were they fought behind ash heaps or in scrapyards? Of course not! They were fought in a clearing among the birch trees with a dusting of snow. Or on the banks of a winding rivulet. Or at the edge of a family estate where the breezes shake the blossoms from the trees…. That is, they were fought in settings that one might have expected to see in the second act of an opera.

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