Review: A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow
By Amor Towles
Viking, 9780670026197, September 2016, 480pp.

The Short of It:

Thoroughly charming.

The Rest of It:

I tend to shy away from historical fiction and because of that, when A Gentleman in Moscow first came out, I didn’t think much of it. However, after all this time, it’s still a bestseller and you really don’t see that with many books. So, when it came time for my book club to select our books for the year, I pitched it and I’m very glad I did.

It’s the year 1922 and Count Alexander Rostov pens a counter-revolutionary poem which lands him under house arrest at the Hotel Metropol, a grand, luxurious hotel. Because of his friends in high places, he escapes execution but finds himself imprisoned in a smallish room but for the most part, left to his own devices.

The book covers his 30+ years at the hotel and is filled with gorgeous descriptions of the decadent meals prepared and enjoyed, the people he encounters, all of which play a critical role to the story, This is escapism at its best and yet, it’s also about imprisonment as the Russian Revolution unfolds outside.

This book is delightful. Charming. Entertaining, Touching. It’s a feel-good story but is tinged with the very real-world politics of that time period. Towles does an amazing job of making every moment mean something. Nothing seems wasted. I turned that last page and that was it. I was in love.

It was announced back in February that Kenneth Branagh will play the Count in the upcoming mini-series. He is also producing the series so I expect it to be very good.

If you are one of the few who have not read it yet, you really must.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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17 thoughts on “Review: A Gentleman in Moscow”

    1. I was worried towards the end that it would not live up to my expectations. I could not figure out how it would all wrap up but it was a perfect ending. Such a charming book. I am now on a quest to find a used copy to own. I only keep books I’ve loved.

    1. Too sweet? I don’t care for sappy and it’s not that. Definitely, not that. The characters are constantly reminded of what is going on outside those walls but it’s subtle. I think you would enjoy it.

    1. I know… you are like me. I read Moscow and Russia in the blurb and was like… nope. But then it has been on the bestseller list for nearly two years and then soooo many people said they loved it. You need to read it.

    1. Then I will say the same thing to you that I did to her! Read it! If you like charming but well-done too, then you will love this book.

  1. It seems like it took me forever to get through this one (probably too many distractions at the time) but I’m still thinking about the characters, especially the Count, almost a year later! Such a beautiful book… I will read anything Amor Towles writes!

  2. Nicely reviewed, Ti! Yes I need to read it and I plan to. I’ve heard so much about it from everyone. I even got a signed copy from the author himself, but alas it’s on my shelf still awaiting me. How neat that Kenneth Branagh will star in a series of it. Ohh I will get to it.

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