A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Title: A Gentleman in Moscow

Author: Amot Towles

Pub Date: September 6th, 2016

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

View on Goodreads
Buy on Book Depository | Wordery

Synopis from Goodreads:

On 21 June 1922 Count Alexander Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt – is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol.

But instead of being taken to his usual suite, he is led to an attic room with a window the size of a chessboard. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely.

While Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval, the Count, stripped of the trappings that defined his life, is forced to question what makes us who we are. And with the assistance of a glamorous actress, a cantankerous chef and a very serious child, Rostov unexpectedly discovers a new understanding of both pleasure and purpose.

Among the sea of four and five-star reviews from my friends, comes my two-star review. This book did nothing for me, I was not amazed, I was not entertained. It was just OK. I enjoyed author’s previous book Rules of Civility far more.

It’s a really slow, slow story. Not much is happening, and sometimes it can be beautiful in the book. But it didn’t work for me in this one. The main character, Count Rostov, a Former Person, is sentenced to house arrest in Hotel Metropol. He lived in this hotel for a few years already, in a fancy suite. But the change in politics in Russia resulted in Count Rostov’s move to far less fancy suite in a servants quarters. The story starts on the first day of Rostov’s move to a new room, and from there we are taken on a journey to see how Rostov is adjusting to new life. The book tells a story of Rostov’s many, many years in the hotel, he becomes an old man, even a father without ever leaving four walls of the hotel.

I liked all the characters, there were interesting, but not interesting enough for hold my attention. I struggled to finish the book because it focused too much on simple things in life, and it didn’t work for me. I’m disappointed that there is no moment in this book when Rostov is showing his despair or any other emotion than a moderate contentment and patience. He was just too much of a gentleman to show any strong emotion that may help this story. Outside world seems to barely intervene with Rostov’s quite, and it seems easy life in the hotel. He makes a best of it, he starts working there, he makes friends there. But it all is just so lukewarm. 

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