Friday, May 3, 2019

Amor Towles, "A Gentleman in Moscow"

A Gentleman in Moscow (2016) is a delightful book that gave me hours of pleasure over the past weeks. It is not especially exciting or ground-breaking or anything like that, and you won't learn much from it, but it is absolutely delightful.

The story focuses on Count Alexander Rostov, who is arrested by the Bolsheviks in 1922. Obviously guilty of both being an aristocrat and opposing the Revolutionary regime, he is nevertheless spared the death penalty because he was also a critic of the old regime and once wrote a poem about freedom much beloved of many Bolsheviks. He is therefore sentenced instead to lifetime confinement within the walls of the Metropol Hotel where he has been living. From this perch we see something of Russia's unfolding history and meet a variety of characters, from barbers to commisars, waiters to spies. But mostly we get to know Alexander Rostov, one of the most charming men who has ever walked the pages of a book.

1 comment:

Shadow said...

And his relationship with Sophia, Nina's daughter, is just charming.