Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Summary from Amazon:

He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.

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.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

 My Thoughts:

     Count Alexander Rostov has been sentenced to live out the rest of his life in the upscale Metropol hotel in Moscow.  Luckily for him, he has already been living there for four years so he knows the staff well and since it is/was a rather fancy place all amenities can be found within its walls.  Can you imagine being forced to live in one building for the rest of your life, never to be allowed outside again?
     What follows is a story not only of one man’s life confined to a small place, but also the lives of those around him and little bits of history as well.  Many great characters come and go through the hotel and the Count’s life that affect him in all sorts of ways; big and small.  Friends are made, lives are changed and the Count becomes the central character of so many wonderful events.  Could Alexander’s sentence really have been a blessing? Would he have befriended and loved these people otherwise?
     I really enjoyed this book! The characters are funny and sweet and there was just enough history within the story to keep things interesting but never boring.  The Count is such a wonderful character with an interesting background and an ever evolving personality.  The only thing that I can really complain about is that the ending, while a good one, wasn’t quite as tidily wrapped up as I would have liked.  I can’t say anymore for fear of spoiling the story but one aspect of the ending left me dangling a bit and that drives me crazy but I still highly recommend this historical fiction novel.

4/5 stars

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