A review by domreadsb00ks
A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles

emotional funny reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


When Count Rostov is put in front of the Bolshevik court after the October Revolution, accused of being an unrepentant aristocrat, it is only a revolutionary poem that he wrote in his youth that saves him. Instead of being shot, he is sentenced to a life of house arrest. A terrible fate - except it is to be carried out in the luxury hotel that has been his home for a long while already.
This book spans decades. And I truly mean it; when we first meet Rostov he is a young man in the prime of his life; when the book closes he is much, much older. This timespan, with well-paced chapters each focussing on a different year, allows us to truly witness his character transformation, not only in the physical sense, but within his mind, his thoughts. 
The writing is beautiful, the world imagined perfectly. Subtlety is key for Towles, and you only truly grasp what you have read at the close of the book. All the characters are real people, fleshed out and woth personalities that actually matter to the plot, as do their conversations with Rostov and eachother.
Overall, it is a slow-burner, which makes for a reflective read, exploring human nature and the beauty of chance encounters. The reader is rewarded at the end of the book though with a

Expand filter menu Content Warnings