A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Published 2016. 1. First lines.2. Cover: Penguin 3. Grand Hall of the Restaurant, Hotel Metropol Moscow [Free Art Licence] via Wikipedia 4. The Road to Worldwide October [CC BY4. 2.0] via flickr

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is detained by the Bolsheviks for being an “unrepentant aristocrat” and sentenced to house arrest in an attic room of the Metropol Hotel, Moscow. The story tells of his daily life and relationships with hotel staff and guests for the next few decades. It also tells in flashback of his past.

BOOK SNAPS: The Washington Post called this “a story designed to make you relax, to appreciate your surroundings”, and Kirkus, “a masterly encapsulation of modern Russian history”. It is certainly a relaxing book to read, even though it is set against a very dark period of Russian history.

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


”Imagining what might happen if one’s circumstances were different was the only sure route to madness.” 
“At the center of all that is Russia – of its culture, its psychology, and, perhaps, its destiny – stands the Kremlin, a walled fortress a thousand years old and four hundred miles from the sea. Physically speaking, its walls are no longer high enough to fend off attack, and yet, they still cast a shadow across the entire country.” 

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