This book was recommended to me by a friend. Do your friend(s) a kindness and do the same because it is worth it.
Written in a genteel manner, this elegant read is part history lesson and love story, part etiquette manual and cuisinay guide, part class study and artistic/literary essay. You will find yourself in the Russia of 1922 to 1954.
Like a weaver, Towles steadily spins his yarn with a specific color and pattern, which at times he interrupts in order to add another color of thread and introduce another design, intertwining the new thread with the previous and then, later, returning to the earlier color and pattern. Understandable, seeing as the threads that make up the fabric of the protagonist’s country and generation are multicolored, nuanced and many.
Fed by the aristocracy, duty to country, strong political leanings, poetry, theater, music, art, loyalty, courage and love in tandem with tumultuous decades of upheaval, war, suppression, fear, denial, fall from grace, injustice, humility and delusion, you can expect nothing less than a luxurious intricately woven creation.
Enter through the revolving doors of the opulent Metropol Hotel and engage deeply with a sensitive erudite Russian count and his friends, lovers and enemies. Partake in exquisite dining, impeccable service and lavish parties. Experience moments of pure hilarity and then of nail biting suspense, deep sadness and moving devotion.
If you are thirsty for knowledge, love the idea of love and want to escape for a few hours, crack open this book. You will turn the last page with both your head and your heart satiated and content.