Book Review 26/50 – A Gentleman in Moscow

I miss Count Rostov, Hotel Metropol, Nina, Sofia, Anna, Marina, Mishka, Emile, Andrey, IdleHour, the Boyarsky…. I miss reading this book. I want to know what happened to Sofia and to Count Rostov after the last page in the novel. I never thought I would come across a book that I felt should never end. Well, Amor Towles has written just that kind of book. Its delicious, its gripping and it has enough lessons for a lifetime !!

I will probably read this a few more times just to enjoy the words and sentences and the scenes that come alive in your mind’s eye. Your emotions move along with the characters in this novel – you feel the dejection, the joy, the fear as they feel it. The biggest lesson you learn from this book is how to take life in your stride and make the most of every opportunity.

Here are some delicious excerpts from the book, just to whet your appetite –

“From the earliest age, we must learn to say good- bye to friends and family. We see our parents and siblings off at the station; we visit cousins, attend schools, join the regiment; we marry, or travel abroad. It is part of the human experience that we are constantly gripping a good fellow by the shoulders and wishing him well, taking comfort from the notion that we will hear word of him soon enough. But experience is less likely to teach us how to bid our dearest possessions adieu.”

“For rather than being tools of self-discovery, mirrors tended to be tools of self-deceit.”

“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.”

“HISTORY IS THE business of identifying momentous events from the comfort of a high-back chair.”

“I guess the point I’m trying to make is that as a species we’re just no good at writing obituaries. We don’t know how a man or his achievements will be perceived three generations from now, any more than we know what his great-great-grandchildren will be having for breakfast on a Tuesday in March. Because when Fate hands something down to posterity, it does so behind its back.”

“For what matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim.”

Just go and get your copy today or download on your kindle now – this is a must read.

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