Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Title: A Gentleman in Moscow
Author: Amor Towles
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Viking
Publish Date: September 6, 2016
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From "A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count 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 a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery."

My Two Cents:

"A Gentleman in Moscow" covers several decades in the life of Count Alexander Rostov. When he refuses to renounce his aristocracy, he is told that if he ever leaves the grand Hotel Metropol in the center of Moscow, he will be arrested on sight. Rather than be arrested, he simply makes his home at the hotel. Little does he know how long he will be there or how much his life will change while he is basically on glorified house arrest.

Rostov is such a great character. Although the Soviets are changing the society of Russia dramatically, he does not really seem to be bothered by it at all. He is more than happy to make the best of things in a gorgeous location that is not left out of the changing society. Rostov plays witness to the entrenchment of the Soviets. Throughout it all, he seems to find good still and is willing to pass that on to the other characters that he comes in contact with in the book. I was not ready for this book to end and would love to see what happened to Rostov after the last page! Sequel, maybe?

I have a fascination with Russia and this book definitely fulfilled my want to read more historical fiction set there. This book covers a few decades and I loved seeing how the author captured the massive changes the country went through in the mid-twentieth century. The author includes a lot of historical tidbits in both the narrative as well as footnotes, which I loved. The author did a great job with making me picture Rostov's changing world. This was definitely a good historical fiction!


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