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A Gentleman in Moscow

Towles, Amor. Book - 2016 Fiction / Towles, Amor, Adult Book / Fiction / Historical / Towles, Amor None on shelf 41 requests on 37 copies Community Rating: 4.3 out of 5

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""In all ways a great novel, a nonstop pleasure brimming with charm, personal wisdom, and philosophic insight. This book more than fulfills the promise of Towles' stylish debut, Rules of Civility." - Kirkus Reviews (starred) From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility--a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel With his breakout debut novel, Rules of Civility, Amor Towles established himself as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction, bringing late 1930s Manhattan to life with splendid atmosphere and a flawless command of style. Readers and critics were enchanted; as NPR commented, "Towles writes with grace and verve about the mores and manners of a society on the cusp of radical change." 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. 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"-- Provided by publisher.

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COMMUNITY REVIEWS

Absolutely stunning submitted by sueij on July 23, 2017, 3:38pm What a glorious book. Starting in 1922 Moscow, a Russian aristocrat is sentenced to live out his life in the Metropol hotel. Banished to a small room in the attic, he needs to reconfigure his life to fit the new constraints.

The novel is slow and thoughtful, with language that is beautiful and precise. Sometimes this means that the story moves more slowly than it might have in the first half, but I thought that it built the sense of time and place in ways that brought me into the Count's world. Then, when the action of the story picked up with Nina and Sofia, I was so thoroughly enmeshed in the Metropol and its cast of characters that I felt like I lived there myself.

Absolutely stunning. This goes down as a favorite.

Moved very slowly submitted by smgop on August 2, 2017, 7:30pm I really wanted to love this book, but it moved so slowly I often woke up after having falling asleep reading it!

Enjoyable Quick Read submitted by alperinj on June 22, 2018, 5:04pm This novel was excellent for a rainy day. A very creative view of a broad time period in Russia. Well worth the read.

Charming submitted by thartj on July 8, 2018, 3:48pm Count Alexander Rostov, in 1918, returns from Paris where he helped his grandmother to flee after the Bolshevic Revolution. It is never quite clear why he decides to return. As a member of the nobility he would normally be executed, but a poem he wrote in his youth that goes well with the everyman theme saves his life. Instead he is sentenced to life in the Metropol Hotel.

And there begins the story... life inside a single building and a man making the best of this downward turn in his prospects. And make the best he does. He shows great adaptability, ingenuity and character. Count Rostov is extremely likable and the other characters are interesting, often charming, and fill this tale that on the surface sounds like it just shouldn't be all that interesting. But it is so beautifully told it was a joy to read. The only reason I have given four instead of five stars is it was rather lean on plot.

A Delightful Read submitted by Laura Burdick on June 20, 2019, 9:51am This was a delightful read all the way through. Spanning 30+ years of Russian history and culture, this book shows you the world through the eyes of an aristocrat imprisoned in a world-class hotel during the Communist revolution. The characters are real and lovable, and the writing is exquisite. I found myself slowing down to savor every word, and re-reading particularly well-crafted sentences. This is a book about how, in the words of the Count, sometimes life sneaks up on you without you expecting it.

You'll want to savor this book submitted by eileen on June 29, 2019, 4:13pm This book was such a pleasure to read, with little stories and vignettes over the passage of time. It is a wandering journey with delightful detail, sophisticated humor, and masterful writing. The author, Amor Towles, has said this story is written in a diamond pattern, where the beginning of the plot opens up to a broad storyline and then narrows down in the end. It is such a fun tale that is hard to put down, but can easily be read in small bites. Also check out his first novel, Rules of Civility. Brilliant as well.

Dreadful and overhyped historical fantasy, not historical fiction submitted by MH17 on July 14, 2019, 4:07pm A naive and grating exercise in historical fantasy, this overlong, tiresome novel has a very loose grip on the historical time and place of its setting and a looser grip on narrative, with its adherence to an irritatingly sitcom-like vignette style that trades in an accumulation of winking, clever moments rather than anything substantial or shaped toward satisfying, meaningful resolution. And it will simply not let up. This book is 400+ pages of simpering, precious, cloying characterization that leaves the reader glutted, the literary equivalent of spraying two cans of Redi-whip into your mouth at the same time. Why did I finish this book. I don' t know. It was a birthday gift from someone I love. The count is a caricature, the children caricatures, the "nemesis" a caricature and not a single aspect of this book rings true, if you know your early Soviet history. Case in point: Moscow in the time of the Great Patriotic War and after was positively abysmal, even in its best quarters; it was not the fairyland of this book. So the head chef at the hotel has some minor trouble procuring a few gourmet items and must improvise--heaven forfend! In the real world in the time and place this novel is set, people were starving, dying, pulling up stakes for Siberia and this book is preoccupied with the winsome misadventures of some preposterous dandy in a ridiculous state-enforced single-hotel exile that would only exist in the insipid candyland of this author's imagination. Nope. Svetlana Alexievich, anything by Svetlana Alexievich, before this book.

Good summer read submitted by thegretch on July 16, 2019, 10:11pm I enjoyed this book. The characters have depth. Starts out slow but keep going and I think you will enjoy it.

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PUBLISHED
New York : Viking, [2016]
Year Published: 2016
Description: 462 pages : illustration ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Format: Book

ISBN/STANDARD NUMBER
9780670026197
0670026190

SUBJECTS
Aristocracy (Social class) -- Fiction.
Home detention -- Fiction.
Interpersonal relations -- Fiction.
Hotels -- Russia -- Fiction.
Moscow (Russia) -- History -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.