A Gentleman in Moscow

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Author: Amor Towles
Publisher: Viking

Goodreads Summary: In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

My Thoughts: I adored this book & Amor Towles is my new favorite author (look a review of his Rules of Civility coming soon!). His writing is stunning & his characters are so rich that I pretty much devoured both books through my winter break. They are just beautiful novels.

While I had read a lot of great reviews the subject matter didn't seem one that would grip me. Some guy stuck in a hotel? But I cannot tell you how wonderful this novel is. Towles writes such amazing characters & Rostov is simply charming. There are moments when he's in despair but there are also moments where he's full of mischievousness & fun.

The beginning of the book sets the scene with descriptions of the hotel & Rostov initially dealing with his house arrest. It's very descriptive, not boring, but detailed in a way that may make you wonder where all of this is going. Plot & time speeds up a little bit once this groundwork is laid & it's absolutely necessary to witness the changes not only to Rostov but to the hotel itself.

As a history buff the impact & role of communism on these characters was also a favorite part. The political changes really serve as a backdrop, with the reader understanding what is happening in Russia through the characters' experiences. I really loved though the descriptions of the changes within the hotel. This is a place that is all about making people feel special & spoiling them- visitors can not only afford to stay there but also want a certain level of service. To read how that works under the Soviets was such an interesting thread in the novel.

So yes, it is worth the hype & if you've put off reading it like me, stop that. Go get it. The library waitlist is probably long so find a friend to borrow from or buy it because it needs to be read! I don't give these 5 "bees" lightly!




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