A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

Book - 2016
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When, in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, he's 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.
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780670026197
9780735221673
Branch Call Number: TOWLE
Characteristics: 462 pages : map ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Gentleman in Moscow : a novel

Opinion

From Library Staff

November 17, 2020
Also available as: eBook, Express eBook, Audiobook CD, Downloadable Audiobook & Large Print

Eloise meets the Tannenbaums in this charming story of a friendship between the friendship between a young hotel guest and an old man essentially under house arrest in the (real-life) Metropol Hotel. A coming of age story mingled with the coming of age of a new country, the Soviet Union.

Historical fiction

List - Russia
SheriR_library Jan 17, 2018

delightful

Comment
PCope Jul 17, 2018

I did end up adoring this book, but it's not the easiest book to get into. You have to give it a chance and turn yourself over to the experience. And once you do, you'll see the Count is charming, surprising, and utterly engrossing. Sort of a Scarlet Pimpernel crossed with Rick from 'Casablanca'.... Read More »


From the critics


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s
spudwil
Jun 09, 2019

Beautifully written and very likeable characters, especially Count Rostov. This would make a very good miniseries.

p
princessofburundi
May 27, 2019

Such a lovely book. Count Vronsky dares to write that all is not well in Russia, and he is punished by being sent to his favourite hotel to live for the rest of his life. It's a luxury hotel, so it's not all bad, but he's not allowed to step out of it, ever, or he'll be executed.

Count Vronsky's need to find something to do to occupy himself for however long he lives isn't just interesting on its own merits, it's also (I think) a metaphor for the needs of every single person to figure out who and what we are, and why we are here on this earth. What is our purpose? What were we made for? Vronsky manages to find a life of joy in his confinement in the hotel, and there is hope that other human beings, reading this book, can find a life of joy during our confinement on this planet.

b
brobertb
May 26, 2019

Pretty slow read, I was only able to read about 10-15 pages at a time, so each time I found myself trying to remember what happened, who was who, etc. I liked the ending.

4
4grandkids_1
May 10, 2019

Lengthy but a tapestry of a political prisoner held captive in a grand hotel for 30+ years.
Rich in characterization with a delightful ending.

l
lpreston214
May 04, 2019

I heard about this book and tried it but then set it aside when I didn't get back to it before the due date. Finally decided to try again and oh my gosh I'm glad I did. I've been reading so many books by women with women main characters that I wondered how I'd fair with this but I absolutely loved it. It's a winning story of a former aristocrat confined to a luxury hotel in Moscow from not long after the revolution up to the cold war. I was delighted to find out the hotel in the story is real. One of my favorite books of the year

k
kalavoie
May 03, 2019

recommended by Dorothy

n
nalahblueberry5
Apr 29, 2019

Loved it

e
ednabw
Apr 03, 2019

Exceptional writing style and use of fully developed and complex characters to describe the effects of the Russian revolution on a minor aristocrat and the staff at a posh and exclusive Moscow hotel. He is placed under house arrest, stripped of all his materials goods and forced to live in a small attic apartment within the hotel. While maintaining his personal integrity and showing outwardly respect for those who are now in charge of Moscow, Count Rostov, integrates himself into the hotel’s staff’s lives and the hotel’s daily and behind the scene operations and helps protect its grandeur.

c
carolinamom
Apr 01, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It seemed a little slow at first but then it kept surprising me. Like a fine meal or wine, it is to be savored. When I was done, I wanted to read it again.

g
ggraham50
Mar 25, 2019

This is one of the best books I have read in a while. A unique story, beautiful language, compelling characters, quiet wit. It was a delight to immerse myself in it.

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Quotes

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c
cknightkc
Jun 05, 2018

“…if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.” - p. 18

c
cknightkc
Jun 05, 2018

“Manners are not like bonbons, Nina. You may not choose the ones that suit you best; and you certainly cannot put the half-bitten ones back in the box. . . .” - p. 52

c
cknightkc
Jun 05, 2018

“Here, indeed, was a formidable sentence--one that was on intimate terms with a comma, and that held the period in healthy disregard.” - p. 68

c
cknightkc
Jun 05, 2018

“It is a sad but unavoidable fact of life," he began, "that as we age our social circles grow smaller. Whether from increased habit or diminished vigor, we suddenly find ourselves in the company of just a few familiar faces.” - p. 94

c
cknightkc
Jun 05, 2018

“After all, what can a first impression tell us about someone we’ve just met for a minute in the lobby of a hotel? For that matter, what can a first impression tell us about anyone? Why, no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli. By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration—and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting at every possible hour.” - pp. 120-121

c
cknightkc
Jun 05, 2018

“Showing a sense of personal restraint that was almost out of character, the Count had restricted himself to two succinct pieces of parental advice. The first was that if one did not master one’s circumstances, one was bound to be mastered by them; and the second was Montaigne’s maxim that the surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness.” - p. 419

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Carolyn_51
Mar 14, 2018

The author shows insight into the customs. language, and values of his characters and their time. In just a few words he makes the reader picture the scene and often leaves gaps of years, leaving an explanation of what happened during this time for later in the story. A book that I couldn't put down.

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