Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Gentleman In Moscow

For the crime of having been born an aristocrat, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is sentenced to spend the rest of his life confined to the Metropol Hotel in Moscow. It is 1922. The Tzar has fallen, the Bolsheviks are in charge, and the life Count Rostov once knew is gone forever. So begins Amor Towles' A Gentleman in Moscow.



I loved this book! I have a feeling that it might end up being my favorite read of 2018. Towles' writing is amazing, and Alexander Rostov is such an unforgettable character. I never got tired of his quiet reminiscences or his perceptive observations of the changing world outside his window.
Having acknowledged that a man must master his circumstances or otherwise be mastered by them, the Count thought it worth considering how one was most likely to achieve this aim when one had been sentenced to a life of confinement.
His inward journey as he creates a life for himself within the walls of the Metropol Hotel is an act of courage, dignity, grace, and above all, humor. He even manages to find love. That along with the varied acquaintances he meets, and the deep friendships he makes over the 30 years he is confined to the Metropol, make this book something to be savored. Near the end of the novel, one of Rostov's friends says this to him:
Who would have imagined when you were sentenced to life in the Metropol all those years ago, that you had just become the luckiest man in all of Russia.
I know I feel very lucky to have read this book, even more so because I got to read it with Bettina. This is the third book we've read together, and I think it's the best. But be sure to check out her review to see what she thinks. And then go check out this book!!

Happy Reading!

37 comments:

  1. Yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed this one :) I loved it when I read it - such a great story! Its one of my favorites, too :)

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    1. It's so amazing! I didn't want it to end. :)

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  2. I'm adding this to my list! This is one of your most enthusiastic recommendations, and I take that to heart. :)

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    1. I fell in love with this book and with Count Rostov; Amor Towles' writing is also amazing. :)

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  3. I’ve heard great things about this one. I’ve got it on my tbr and am hoping I can get my book club to read it.

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    1. This would be a good book club book! :)

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  4. I read this last year and I enjoyed it too. I found it very inspiring that the Count was able to lead such a fulfilling life despite being confined in one place for so long.

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    1. I think that's what made me like him so much; that he was able to create such a fulfilling life for himself under such difficult circumstances.

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  5. I've heard great things about this one! Glad you loved it.

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  6. I'll be reading this with my book club later in the spring, and I'm really looking forward to it.

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    1. It's such a good read! I hope you and your book club enjoy it as much as I did. :)

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  7. Now you've piqued my curiosity. Will see if the library has a copy. :)

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  8. Now you've piqued my curiosity. Will see if the library has a copy. :)

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  9. Thank you for reading the book with me, Lark, and I agree, it was probably our best out of the three books we read together. And I love reading your review and your points, you always pick out the interesting things to say.

    Kind regards,

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    1. Thanks, Bettina! We'll have to try and find an equally good book to read together next time around. :D

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  10. I have heard great things about this book as well as The Rules of Civility. I really love engrossing historical fiction.

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    1. I'm certainly a fan of Amor Towles. Both his books are excellent reads! :)

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  11. I read Rules of Civility a few years ago and it was one of my favorite reads that year. Now, I must read this one!

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    1. I liked Rules of Civility, too! But in my opinion, this book is even better. :)

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  12. I keep hearing great things about this book and am so glad you enjoyed this one. I think I will have to read it now!

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    1. For me, it turned out to be as great as everyone said!

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  13. I guess life is as you make it even when you have less than perfect circumstances you can make the best of it and have a lovely life. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Lark. I'll have to check this out. :)

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    1. It's definitely a book worth reading. :)

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  14. I have heard very good things about this book as well. The subject matter, what happened after Lenin came to power in 1917, is a topic that I would like to learn more about. Sounds like Count Rostov imprisoned in his hotel room is in a good position to observe and tell us what it was like.

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    1. You do learn a lot, but even then, this book had me pulling out an old encyclopedia to look up some of this stuff. I realized reading this book that I really don't know much about Russia's history. But I'd like to read more about it some time. :)

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  15. There's nothing quite like a five star read!

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  16. A belated Happy New Year, Lark! I enjoyed your review. A Gentleman in Moscow has been in a stack of books on my bedside table, and your review makes me want to read it sooner rather than later!

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    1. Thank you, Monica! And I can't argue against reading this book ASAP, 'cause it's just that good. :)

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  17. I'm so glad to hear you loved this. I read Towles' book Rules of Civility and loved it. I need to read A Gentlemen in Moscow soon!

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    1. You won't be disappointed...it's an awesome read. :)

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  18. Oh, I so agree -- it's one of my favorite books of all time. So glad you loved it, too.

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    1. I can see why it's one of your favorites. It's such a great read!! :)

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  19. I so need to read this book!! I have an autographed hardback copy I purchased when the author came to a local, indie bookstore for a speaking/signing event. But alas, I haven't read it yet.

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    1. It's such a good read! You're lucky you still have it to look forward to.

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