A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW
BY AMOR TOWLES
Russia has always provided an alluring backdrop for drama, spy thrillers and romance and whilst a no-go destination for travel we couldn't deny this book's place in the Den's 5th Birthday favourites. Towles's fans have recently enjoyed his latest epic adventure 'The Lincoln Highway'. However, 'A Gentleman In Moscow' remains in our hearts as an award winning and enduring favourite book club choice. Also a popular must read novel, before Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation hits the screen with Ewan McGregor as the Count.
Set against the Bolshevik revolt, the lead character Count Alexander is a loveable cultured hero who is condemned for writing a poem that offends the regime. His punishment as well as house arrest in the luxury hotel where he resides is to take up a staff post. The count is a smooth operator and humbly accepts and handles his new working life with charm, wit and grace. He is the eternal optimist and you just can’t help falling for him. It is an epic tale of love and humanity that begins just as the Russian Revolution takes its grip on the capital, passing through the second world war and then on to the Cold War and the Soviet Regime.
If you want to enjoy Russian history but never quite found the time or energy to read Tolstoy this will transport you back. You just can’t help racing through the short chapters so don’t be put off by the length, because it is a book which will you keep enthralled! It is also definitely a perfect holiday read. One that none of us wanted to put down.
Amor Towles is a bestselling and book club favourite author of 'The Lincoln Highway' and 'Rules Of Civility' - both in the Den's library.