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.
There are books that will make you cry and there are books that will make you laugh. And then there are books where you want the characters to pop off in real life and be friends with. And then there are books like A Gentleman in Moscow where you become so immersed in the book you will disappear from wherever you are sitting and be transported to the world inside the pages.
A Gentleman in Moscow starts with when the main character, Count Rostov, was sentenced of house arrest – he may never leave the luxurious Metropol Hotel for the rest of his life. Luckily for him, the Metropol Hotel is a world of its own. The book is written so well and the world building is superb such that it took us to a journey even though Count Rostov has never left the Metropol Hotel the whole time.
Another strength of the book are the main characters. Initially, I didn’t think Count Rostov would be a relatable character. I mean, all he has known is the ways of a gentleman, grand parties and luxury in life. But, in the core, Count Rostov is just as human as any of us. I have definitely enjoyed reading from his point of view – he’s a charming and captivating character. All the other secondary characters are strong as well and has definitely added spice to the book.
Another thing I really liked about the book is that it shows us that time doesn’t really care about us. No matter where we go or where we are stuck, time would just pass by us. Everything that the Count knew was disappearing. His own country is changing and that is evident in a single building he sees every day. I liked how the book shows us that we should learn to adapt without compromising our true selves.
Overall, I loved this book. Every chapter is an interesting glimpse on the life of Count Rostov and a glimpse on the history of Russia. The characters and setting are both well-written. I highly recommend this book to everyone who hasn’t read it yet.