Book Recommendation: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

A former Russian Count is confined to a luxury hotel after the Russian Revolution. He lives there for a long time, and even in his confinement, life finds him. Even as a fictional character, he’s a pleasant person to spend time with. Touching story that brought tears to my eyes a few times. Quite a few wise observations on life. Recommended.

Quotes I liked:

“Adversity presents itself in many forms; and that if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.”

“[I]magining what might happen if one’s circumstances were different [is] the only sure route to madness.”

“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.”

“Trust that life will find you, in time. For eventually, it finds us all.”

“Our lives are steered by uncertainties, many of which are disruptive or even daunting; but that if we persevere and remain generous of heart, we may be granted a moment of supreme lucidity—a moment in which all that has happened to us suddenly comes into focus as a necessary course of events, even as we find ourselves on the threshold of a bold new life that we had been meant to lead all along.”

3 thoughts on “Book Recommendation: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

  1. Really like that last quote, I have definitely had moments of if not “supreme” lucidity at least lucidity to the point that many of the events that I perceived as negative even tragic in my life were necessary to propel me forward (sometimes reluctantly) to the moment I find myself standing in.

    1. Another in a similar vein that I didn’t add: “In the end, it is the inconveniences that matter most.” I’m not as certain that “the obstacle is the way”, but I do think that life’s difficulties tend to make our life more interesting than whatever we had planned.

      1. I have a theory about “the obstacle is the way” it comes from a Jung quote “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate” We can duck and weave all we want but the unconcious inner situation will return in many forms (obstacles) until we finally have the courage to face it.

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