A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Tags: Audiobooks, Russia
Publication Year: 2016
ISBN: 9780670026197

In 1922 Russia, aristocrat Count Alexander Rostov has been sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol hotel. As he makes a home in his small attic room, he builds relationships and finds his place and purpose from inside the hotel, as decades of history unfold literally outside his door. Rostov's charm and wisdom shine as he builds family and community with the vivid characters who share space in the Metropol.

This book has been on my shelf for ages and was at the top of my reading challenge list. Nonetheless, I decided to listen to the audiobook, with the intention of trying a reading experiment: listening while reading along in my print copy (sometimes).

I wasn't able to do this as much as I'd planned, but I did try it a few times. Blending the reading and listening did help me absorb and better focus while reading this slow-mover. It's something I hope to try again--particularly with nonfiction. I know that so many readers loved this, and while I enjoyed this book, I think I would have appreciated the lovely language more in print. I'll be keeping it around and planning on a second read in the future.

About the Book

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Publisher’s Description

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

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