This book fell in my hands after Bill Gates recommended it as one of his favourite summer readings. At the beginning I thought it was a Spy’s thriller (one of my favourite genres) and that is why I ran out to buy it.
There is this shock when you realize that even before opening a book you have had a misconception. A Gentleman in Moscow was not about spies. Yes, you could feel them breathing in the main character’s neck from time to time but the story is not typical. As I was expecting the usual spy thriller, the book seemed slow and calm at the beginning. It was good that I decided to go up to the end, otherwise I would have missed a wonderful piece of literature.
Olga Tokarczuk does not need an introduction. Well, she is from Poland, Nobel Literature Prize 2018. That’s it. She has won several literature prices before. I understand why. She writes as if she were rolling over sentences in a beautiful song and each one of those sentences are attached to one another in perfection. But it was not this what left me with an open mouth. After several days and weeks of finishing ‘Flights’ my head is still spinning trying to guess how was she capable of put such simple stories, that could happen to anyone, in paper. Some of us have lived those stories, or at least one of the stories (exploration of the human body, migration, travel, languages, romance, life and death), but none of us would have been capable of telling them in such a sublime way.