|To Go||Sit & Savor|
|Ohmmm||Buckle Your Seatbelt|
A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel is a historical fiction work of art.
Set in early 20th Century Russia, it focuses on the life of one man. The changing politics of the time evolve around him, affecting him drastically (as revolutions are bound to do), but sometimes the changes are overnight, and others happen slowly, barely noticeable until it’s too late.
This point is further emphasized by the book largely taking place in one place, one hotel, for 32 years of this man’s life.
Now, we all know what you’re thinking: 462 pages over 32 years in one location—snooze-fest?
Well, it could have been, if the writing wasn’t so damn incredibly good.
Towles hits his stride in this book, creating a lovable, believable protagonist and a cast of supporting characters.
“I am SO HAPPY that I read it. It took me about a month to get through it, so it’s definitely not a beach read. It was a slow mover, not because it was boring or spent too much time in one scene, but because I wanted to soak up every sentence.” – Amber
“As an aspiring writer, sometimes I’ll read a book that’s so good, it will inspire me to write even better. Sometimes I’ll read a book that’s so incredibly good, it will convince me to just give up because there’s no way in all the world that I’ll be able to grasp the powers of pros and storytelling with as much grace and power. This book was the later. I didn’t write for two weeks after finishing it.” – J.Mackenzie
One point of fascination was the skill with which Towles chose what to include, versus what to not include. Over such a long time frame, one has to wonder what was left in the editor’s wastebasket. (Sort of makes me want to break into their office and raid this wastebasket, just to get tidbits more of this world. Not really. Just joking. Sort of…)
Read it! Unless slow, deliberate prose isn’t your jam (which is totally cool. No judgment).
If this sounds like a book you’ll enjoy, check out our review of Rules of Civility.
FHR Tip: When reading, take note of the years. Towles will jump inconsistently across chunks of time (for good reason) and it will be helpful to keep track of as you move along.