Described as The Grand Budapest Hotel meets War And Peace, A Gentleman In Moscow is quite a novel to behold.
Towles’ use of language is an absolute pleasure to read and you can’t help but savour every last word.
The story opens a couple of years after the Russian Revolution, during a time of ferocious upheaval. A devilishly good-looking count, Alexander Rostov has been summoned before an emergency committee and accused of penning a counter revolutionary poem.
For the next several years, under hotel arrest, he forms relationships with employees, visitors and a young girl whom he becomes a guardian for.
Almost overly wordy at points, Towles spends a lot of time on detailed descriptions of Rostov and his various encounters, but you can’t help but enjoy the ride.
What makes it a great work of historical fiction are the apt creations the author builds outside the hotel walls in a truly tumultuous time.
Towles creates such a memorable character in Rostov and this book brings something for everyone – humour, history, friendship and philosophy.
Definitely worth a read.