Book Review : A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles

Doesn’t it sounds intriguing?

The title is all it takes for me to pick up this book.

Genre : Historical Fiction
Page : 462 pages
Published : 26th March 2019

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility—a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

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

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

Did you know that A Gentleman In Moscow is one of Bill Gates top five book recommendation?

I’m not reading because of the recommendation though. This book has been a diamond in a rough I accidentally come across to. I haven’t heard of it before and it just there right in front of my eyes.

But rather than the best decision, I’m going to say I am very proud, blessed and happy to read this book.

A Gentleman In Moscow tells the story of Count Alexander Rostov when he was sentenced to house arrest in 1922 after the Bolshevik tribunal. Count Alexander Rostov was deemed to stay for the rest of his life in Metropol Hotel.

Intriguing concept and I can’t wait to unfold the rest of the story.

In this book, there are no certain plot of where it’s going next. Instead, this book fixated on Count Alexander Rostov and takes us wandering around his now simpler life but with increasing challenges. And not only for certain months or years, this book brought us venturing Count Alexander Rostov life for decades.

Count Alexander Rostov or the Count for short, is a very likeable man. It’s so easy to love the Count and be one of his allies. The very first impression the Count gave me was witty. As the story goes, the Count show off more of his charm and his seemingly endless charisma. But it soon to be notice that he is a highly knowledgeable man with a highly respectable mindset that render me to smile, laugh or even nod in amusement.

Moreover, no other books that could create a fine gentleman character as good as A Gentleman in Moscow because there are no other character that can rival Count Alexander Rostov as the best gentleman ever. I love how well, proper and precise this book depict the Count impression and soul.

Oh. I could rant all day about the Count.

Not in the swoony type but in highly admirable and respectable way.

Moreover, I love how this book has never ending story to tell. Just like how life works. Never stop stepping in your way until the very last breath.

Also, I’m calling every other historian lovers out there. Especially those who are intrigued with Russian culture and history. I assure you this book has a big deal of the most important Russian history. Which is something I am grateful for and something I’m frustrated for. At the same time.

I admit that there was a time I was particularly hooked in with history and I know diverse tiny parts of it here and there. But I never really read any Russian history before despite being aware of the revolution to monarchs and aristocrats. And I just know tiny wee bit about that too.

Therefore, jumping into this book that has diverse lots of Russian history with it’s very elaborate detailed, I was often confused because there are rarely any introductory towards the history occurrence, as to why or how it could happened. The history is suddenly there in the book. Once this part of history is over, it’s takes us to another part of history soon enough.

But I understand as to why there are no seemingly elaborate introductory to the history part. Usually, history books contains of characters that dive right into the uneventful tragedy, someone who directly risk their lives for the greater good of the future. What makes this book unique, is we have Count Alexander Rostov- a character who did not directly join in the chaos but a character that experience the impact of history after history slowly unveiling themselves throughout his life.

A Gentleman In Moscow is the life journey of Count Alexander Rostov during the most unpredictable, disordered decades in Moscow, Russia. 

By that, I understand if there are no introductory or warning hint to why this history could happened or what it’s simply about. Because this book include a lot Russia’s history inside. I even thought that if you would like to know what happened to Russia in the past decades, you should definitely pick up this book.

And if the book ended up explaining all over the history again, this might be a HUGE book in the end. Therefore, I think those of you that had already know or familiar with Russia history might be able to appreciate this book more despite it’s lacked introductory history.

A little confession, I had almost DNF this book despite loving the Count so much. Personally, I think it has a slow plot line and I sometimes bored by it despite having a wondrous amount of history and interesting stuff going on in the book. During the first week reading this book, I barely made progress despite feeling like I have read quite a lot of pages.

Maybe because it’s thickness or perhaps it’s slow story line or maybe both that I DNF this book and forced myself to pick up this book again because I really really reaaaally want to love this book (and not just the Count) and I must say, I am happy to read through the end of the book and I am fairly content with the book in the end.

There are many scenes in the book that made yourself ponder about your life. Aside from teaching history, this book also teach us about life. For me, it doesn’t feel life changing to me but this book made one of the most unforgettable story ever with it’s plot and concept (and the Count)

I fairly think this book is okay but one should be patient reading the slow plot line. It’s the kind of book that needs to be savour slowly and in exchanged, it’s strengthen the overall ideas of the story. There are many good things about the book and I love all the wise and true virtue the Count shared with readers.

“…what matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim.”

Author: Celine


6 thoughts on “Book Review : A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles

  1. I’m happy to see your review! I have had a copy on my shelf for over a year now. It was one of my book group’s books, and I started it, but couldn’t get into it — but everyone in my group raved about it. I’ve been meaning to get back to it and try it again. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

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