FF’s Star Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
You will not meet a fine man such as Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov easily. Amor Towles, that New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility has got me thinking, speaking, reading like the man. For how long, I do not know, but let me remember that I am trying to write a review of A Gentleman in Moscow of such impeccable quality that you will want to read this book as soon as you’re done reading this review.
So, meet Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov. On 21 June, 1922, the Count appeared before the Emergency Committee of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs. In a nutshell, the Count thought it wise to publish a poem that he shouldn’t have. His judgment: he must stay in the Hotel Metropol and never leave. Years come and go and eventually so do decades, but perhaps a forced life inside a hotel needn’t be a punishment at all.
Towles has simply created a protagonist that fascinated me to no end. The Count, his thoughts and his words, is what kept me coming back and back and back. Of course, the author’s intriguing protagonist shouldn’t be the only reason why this book is so exciting. Upon recalling a humorous scene in which a man has the gall to clip the Count’s moustache, I can attest that there are a couple of interesting things happen at the Metropol.
I relished every moment of reading this book. Much to my wonder, there isn’t a lot about this book that I didn’t like. I could say that I wished the Count didn’t like life at the Metropol so much as he appeared to, but perhaps the fact that life at the Metropol did indeed appear to be so interesting, the author chose to keep it that way. After all, that’s where the Count will be most of time.
If one were to wonder how so many pages dedicated to the Count’s years in this hotel can keep readers satisfied until the end, than this book is a fine example of how it can be so. Never is one bored after the end of a chapter. The hours one needs to invest in the read of this book is time well spent for the reader looking to experience Moscow in the early to mid-1900s.
Free paperback received from Penguin Random House SA.
|Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Date Published: January 9, 2017