Thursday, November 3, 2016

Review: A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In his new novel, Amor Towles has created a memorable cast of characters and an intriguing plot set in a period of Russian history starting in the 1920s. Add his exquisite writing and it is easy to understand why I couldn't put the book down yet I didn't want it to end. I almost feel like picking it up again and turning to the first page, just to enjoy this wonderful reading experience again.

Instead of summarizing the book, as I sometimes do, I often make a note of some of the thoughts put down by the author. On page 120, Towles writes about first impressions:

“After all, what can a first impression tell us about someone we’ve just met for a minute in the lobby of a hotel? For that matter, what can a first impression tell us about anyone? Why, no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli. By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration – and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting at every possible hour.”

Like so many people, I loved Towles's first novel, "Rules of Civility." I cannot wait to see what he publishes next.

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