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Book Reviews: A Gentleman in Moscow soars

“How delightful that in an era as crude as ours this finely composed novel stretches out with old-World elegance.” —The Washington Post

A Gentleman in Moscow shows what one can accomplish in a crumbling world with the right attitude about changing fortunes.

The hero of the book, Count Alexander Rostov finds his fortune reversed when the Bolsheviks take over and he is relegated to house arrest in ” The Metropol, the famed Moscow hotel where movie stars and Russian royalty hobnob, where Bolsheviks plot revolutions and intellectuals discuss the merits of contemporary Russian writers, where spies spy, thieves thieve and the danger of twentieth century Russia lurks outside its marbled walls.

No matter the circumstances, the Count displays the wisdom and manners of his station in life as a gentleman and, in doing so, gives much to his fellow travelers whether they are the hotel staff, a passer-by or the ruling class du-jour.

 

“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.” 

This book made the rounds of my family from the 30-somethings to my siblings, all with widely differing preferences in books and there was universal agreement that this was “a great read.”  I would place it as one of the best books I’ve read in the last five years and have since given out several copies.

A Gentleman in Moscow is one of those books you’ll have a hard time putting down, and whose prose and lessons will stick with you as you meet your own “challenges of change. ”

 

 

 

About Linda Gross

Linda Gross
Writer, photographer. Passionate foodie, lover of good books and storytelling. Lives in Globe. Plays in the historic district. Travels when possible.

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