A Gentleman in Moscow

by Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow is one of those books that sailts through time at the speed of light.

Rather than fighting for the minute or the second, the book slowly progresses through Count Alexander’s life. Nothing exciting happens over the course of a page or two but when put together, regimes shift, men perish, and history is written.

The book has an occassional bright spot or two in small humor or barely a hill of a climax amid an continuum of events. None of the events are ever repeated, yet they feel all the same. But when I set down the book, I realized both how little the book said and how much the book showed. I don’t have a lot of takeaways from the book but I do have a favorite quote.

“If a man does not master his circumstances he is bound to be mastered by them.”


*I’m reading this as an modern look at Russian literature sandwitched between two more classical novels. I previously read Crime and Punishment and I’ll be reading “War and Peace” later in the year.

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