A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel PDF AZW3 EPUB MOBI TXT Download

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television seriesFrom the #1New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and 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 entry 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.

Amor Towles
March 26, 2019
512 pages

File Size: 32 MB
Available File Formats: PDF AZW3 DOCX EPUB MOBI TXT or Kindle audiobook Audio CD(Several files can be converted to each other)
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch, chinese

“The novel buzzes with the energy of numerous adventures, love affairs, [and] twists of fate.” —The Wall Street Journal”If you’re looking for a summer novel, this is it. Beautifully written, a story of a Russian aristocrat trapped in Moscow during the tumult of the 1930s. It brims with intelligence, erudition, and insight, an old-fashioned novel in the best sense of the term.” —Fareed Zakaria, “Global Public Square,” CNN”Fun, clever, and surprisingly upbeat . . . A Gentleman in Moscow is an amazing story because it manages to be a little bit of everything. There’s fantastical romance, politics, espionage, parenthood and poetry. The book is technically historical fiction, but you would be just as accurate calling it a thriller or a love story.” —Bill Gates“The book is like a salve. I think the world feels disordered right now. The count’s refinement and genteel nature are exactly what we’re longing for.” —Ann Patchett“How delightful that in an era as crude as ours this finely composed novel stretches out with old-World elegance.” —The Washington Post“[A] wonderful book at any time . . . [I]t brought home to me how people find ways to be happy, make connections, and make a difference to one another’s lives, even in the strangest, saddest and most restrictive circumstances.” —Tana French, author of The Searcher “Marvelous.” —Chicago Tribune “The novel buzzes with the energy of numerous adventures, love affairs, twists of fate and silly antics.” —The Wall Street Journal   “A winning, stylish novel.” —NPR.org “Enjoyable, elegant.” —Seattle Times“The perfect book to curl up with while the world goes by outside your window.” —Refinery29“Who will save Rostov from the intrusions of state if not the seamstresses, chefs, bartenders and doormen? In the end, Towles’s greatest narrative effect is not the moments of wonder and synchronicity but the generous transformation of these peripheral workers, over the course of decades, into confidants, equals and, finally, friends. With them around, a life sentence in these gilded halls might make Rostov the luckiest man in Russia.” —The New York Times Book Review“This is an old fashioned sort of romance, filled with delicious detail. Save this precious book for times you really, really want to escape reality.” —Louise Erdrich“Towles gets good mileage from the considerable charm of his protagonist and the peculiar world he inhabits.” —The New Yorker“Irresistible . . . In his second elegant period piece, Towles continues to explore the question of how a person can lead an authentic life in a time when mere survival is a feat in itself . . . Towles’s tale, as lavishly filigreed as a Fabergé egg, gleams with nostalgia for the golden age of Tolstoy and Turgenev.” —O, The Oprah Magazine “‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and ‘Eloise’ meets all the Bond villains.”—TheSkimm“And the intrigue! . . . [A Gentleman in Moscow] is laced with sparkling threads (they will tie up) and tokens (they will matter): special keys, secret compartments, gold coins, vials of coveted liquid, old-fashioned pistols, duels and scars, hidden assignations (discreet and smoky), stolen passports, a ruby necklace, mysterious letters on elegant hotel stationery . . . a luscious stage set, backdrop for a downright Casablanca-like drama.”—The San Francisco Chronicle“The same gorgeous, layered richness that marked Towles’ debut, Rules of Civility, shapes [A Gentleman in Moscow].”—Entertainment Weekly Praise for Rules of Civility “An irresistible and astonishingly assured debut.” —O, the Oprah Magazine “With this snappy period piece, Towles resurrects the cinematic black-and-white Manhattan of the golden age…[his] characters are youthful Americans in tricky times, trying to create authentic lives.”  —The New York Times Book Review “Sharp [and] sure-handed.”  —Wall Street Journal “Put on some Billie Holiday, pour a dry martini and immerse yourself in the eventful life of Katey Kontent.” —People “[A] wonderful debut novel.”  —The Chicago Tribune “Glittering…filled with snappy dialogue, sharp observations and an array of terrifically drawn characters…Towles writes with grace and verve about the mores and manners of a society on the cusp of radical change.”  —NPR.org “A book that enchants on first reading and only improves on the second.”  —The Philadelphia Inquirer About the Author Amor Towles is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow. The two novels have collectively sold more than four million copies and have been translated into more than thirty languages. Towles lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. From A Gentleman in Moscow:There were two restaurants in the Hotel Metropol: the Boyarsky, that fabled retreat on the second floor that we have already visited, and the grand dining room off the lobby known officially as the Metropol, but referred to affectionately by the Count as the Piazza.Admittedly, the Piazza could not challenge the elegance of the Boyarsky’s décor, the sophistication of its service, or the subtlety of its cuisine. But the Piazza did not aspire to elegance, service, or subtlety. With eighty tables scattered around a marble fountain and a menu offering everything from cabbage piroghi to cutlets of veal, the Piazza was meant to be an extension of the city—of its gardens, markets, and thorough fares. It was a place where Russians cut from every cloth could come to linger over coffee, happen upon friends, stumble into arguments, or drift into dalliances—and where the lone diner seated under the great glass ceiling could indulge himself in admiration, indignation, suspicion, and laughter without getting up from his chair.And the waiters? Like those of a Parisian café, the Piazza’s waiters could best be complimented as “efficient.” Accustomed to navigating crowds,they could easily seat your party of eight at a table for four. Having noted your preferences over the sound of the orchestra, within minutes they would return with the various drinks balanced on a tray and dispense them round the table in rapid succession without misplacing a glass. If, with your menu in hand, you hesitated for even a second to place your order, they would lean over your shoulder and poke at a specialty of the house. And when the last morsel of dessert had been savored, they would whisk away your plate, present your check, and make your change in under a minute. In other words, the waiters of the Piazza knew their trade to the crumb, the spoon, and the kopek.At least, that was how things were before the war. . . .Today, the dining room was nearly empty and the Count was being served by someone who appeared not only new to the Piazza, but new to the art of waiting. Tall and thin, with a narrow head and superior demeanor, he looked rather like a bishop that had been plucked from a chessboard. When the Count took his seat with a newspaper in hand—the international symbol of dining alone—the chap didn’t bother to clear the second setting; when the Count closed his menu and placed it beside his plate—the international symbol of readiness to order—the chap needed to be beckoned witha wave of the hand; and when the Count ordered the okroshka and filet of sole, the chap asked if he might like a glass of Sauterne. A perfect suggestion, no doubt, if only the Count had ordered foie gras!“Perhaps a bottle of the Châteaude Baudelaire,” the Count corrected politely.“Of course,” the Bishop replied with an ecclesiastical smile.Granted, a bottle of Baudelaire was something of an extravagance for a solitary lunch, but after spending another morning with the indefatigable Michel de Montaigne, the Count felt that his morale could use the boost. For several days, in fact, he had been fending off a state of restlessness. On his regular descent to the lobby, he caught himself counting the steps. As he browsed the headlines in his favorite chair, he found he was lifting his hands to twirl the tips of moustaches that were no longer there. He found he was walking through the door of the Piazza at 12:01 for lunch. And at 1:35, when he climbed the 110 steps to his room, he was already calculating the minutes until he could come back downstairs for a drink. If he continued along this course, it would not take long for the ceiling to edge downward, the walls to edge inward, and the floor to edge upward, until the entire hotel had been collapsed into the size of a biscuit tin.As the Count waited for his wine, he gazed around the restaurant, but his fellow diners offered no relief. Across the way was a table occupied by two stragglers from the diplomatic corps who picked at their food while they awaited an era of diplomacy. Over there in the corner was a spectacled denizen of the second floor with four enormous documents spread across his table, comparing them word for word. No one appeared particularly gay; and no one paid the Count any mind. That is, except for the young girl with the penchant for yellow who appeared to be spying on him from her table behind the fountain. According to Vasily, this nine-year-old with straight blond hair was the daughter of a widowed Ukrainian bureaucrat. As usual, she was sitting with her governess. When she realized the Count was looking her way, she disappeared behind her menu.“Your soup,” said the Bishop.“Ah. Thank you, my good man. It looks delicious. But don’t forget the wine!”“Of course.”Turning his attention to his okroshka, the Count could tell at a glance that it was a commendable execution—a bowl of soup that any Russian inthe room might have been served by his grandmother. Closing his eyes in order to give the first spoonful its due consideration, the Count noted asuitably chilled temperature, a tad too much salt, a tad too little kvass, but a perfect expression of dill—that harbinger of summer which brings to mind the songs of crickets and the setting of one’s soul at ease. But when the Count opened his eyes, he nearly dropped his spoon. For standing at the edge of his table was the young girl with the penchant for yellow—studying him with that unapologetic interest peculiarto children and dogs. Adding to the shock of her sudden appearance was the fact that her dress today was in the shade of a lemon.“Where did they go?” she asked, without a word of introduction.“I beg your pardon. Where did who go?”She tilted her head to take a closer look at his face.“Why, your moustaches.”The Count had not much cause to interact with children, but he had been raised well enough to know that a child should not idly approach a stranger, should not interrupt him in the middle of a meal, and certainly should not ask him questions about his personal appearance. Was the minding of one’s own business no longer a subject taught in schools?“Like swallows,” the Count answered, “they traveled elsewhere for the summer.”Then he fluttered a hand from the table into the air in order to both mimic the flight of the swallows and suggest how a child might follow suit.She nodded to express her satisfaction with his response.“I too will be traveling elsewhere for part of the summer.”The Count inclined his head to indicate his congratulations.“To the Black Sea,” she added.Then she pulled back the empty chair and sat.“Would you like to join me?” he asked.By way of response, she wiggled back and forth to make herself comfortable then rested her elbows on the table. Around her neck hung a small pendant on a golden chain, some lucky charm or locket. The Count looked toward the young lady’s governess with the hopes of catching her attention, but she had obviously learned from experience to keep her nose in her book.The girl gave another canine tilt to her head.“Is it true that you are a count?”“’Tis true.”Her eyes widened.“Have you ever known a princess?”“I have known many princesses.”Her eyes widened further, then narrowed.“Was it terribly hard to be a princess?”“Terribly.”At that moment, despite the fact that half of the okroshka remained in its bowl, the Bishop appeared with the Count’s filet of sole and swapped one for the other.“Thank you,” said the Count, his spoon still in hand.“Of course.”The Count opened his mouth to inquire as to the whereabouts of the Baudelaire, but the Bishop had already vanished. When the Count turned back to his guest, she was staring at his fish.“What is that?” she wanted to know.“This? It is filet of sole.”“Is it good?”“Didn’t you have a lunch of your own?”“I didn’t like it.”The Count transferred a taste of his fish to a side plate and passed it across the table. “With my compliments.”She forked the whole thing in her mouth.“It’s yummy,” she said, which if not the most elegant expression was at least factually correct. Then she smiled a little sadly and let out a sigh as she directed her bright blue gaze upon the rest of his lunch.“Hmm,” said the Count.Retrieving the side plate, he transferred half his sole along with an equal share of spinach and baby carrots, and returned it. She wiggled back and forth once more, presumably to settle in for the duration. Then, having carefully pushed the vegetables to the edge of the plate, she cut her fish into four equal portions, put the right upper quadrant in her mouth, and resumed her line of inquiry.“How would a princess spend her day?”“Like any young lady,” answered the Count.With a nod of the head, the girl encouraged him to continue.“In the morning, she would have lessons in French, history, music. After her lessons, she might visit with friends or walk in the park. And at lunch she would eat her vegetables.”“My father says that princesses personify the decadence of a vanquished era.”The Count was taken aback.“Perhaps a few,” he conceded. “But not all, I assure you.”She waved her fork.“Don’t worry. Papa is wonderful and he knows everything there is to know about the workings of tractors. But he knows absolutely nothing about the workings of princesses.”The Count offered an expression of relief.“Have you ever been to a ball?” she continued after a moment of thought.“Certainly.”“Did you dance?”“I have been known to scuff the parquet.” The Count said this with the renowned glint in his eye—that little spark that had defused heated conversations and caught the eyes of beauties in every salon in St. Petersburg.“Scuff the parquet?”“Ahem,” said the Count. “Yes, I have danced at balls.”“And have you lived in a castle?”“Castles are not as common in our country as they are in fairy tales,” the Count explained. “But I have dined in a castle. . . .”Accepting this response as sufficient, if not ideal, the girl now furrowed her brow. She put another quadrant of fish in her mouth and chewed thoughtfully. Then she suddenly leaned forward.“Have you ever been in a duel?”“An affaire d’honneur?” The Count hesitated. “I suppose I have been in a duel of sorts. . . .”“With pistols at thirty-two paces?”“In my case, it was more of a duel in the figurative sense.”When the Count’s guest expressed her disappointment at this unfortunate clarification, he found himself offering a consolation:“My godfather was a second on more than one occasion.”“A second?”“When a gentleman has been offended and demands satisfaction on the field of honor, he and his counterpart each appoint seconds—in essence, their lieutenants. It is the seconds who settle upon the rules of engagement.”“What sort of rules of engagement?”“The time and place of the duel. What weapons will be used. If it is to be pistols, then how many paces will be taken and whether there will be more than one exchange of shots.”“Your godfather, you say. Where did he live?”“Here in Moscow.”“Were his duels in Moscow?”“One of them was. In fact, it sprang from a dispute that occurred in this hotel—between an admiral and a prince. They had been at odds for quite some time, I gather, but things came to a head one night when their paths collided in the lobby, and the gauntlet was thrown down on that very spot.”“Which very spot?”“By the concierge’s desk.”“Right where I sit!”“Yes, I suppose so.”“Were they in love with the same woman?”“I don’t think a woman was involved.”The girl looked at the Count with an expression of incredulity.“A woman is always involved,” she said.“Yes. Well. Whatever the cause, an offense was taken followed by a demand for an apology, a refusal to provide one, and a slap of the glove. At the time, the hotel was managed by a German fellow named Keffler, who was reputedly a baron in his own right. And it was generally known that he kept a pair of pistols hidden behind a panel in his office, so that when an incident occurred, seconds could confer in privacy, carriages could be summoned, and the feuding parties could be whisked away with weapons in hand.”“In the hours before dawn . . .”“In the hours before dawn.”“To some remote spot . . .”“To some remote spot.”She leaned forward.“Lensky was killed by Onegin in a duel.”She said this in a hushed voice, as if quoting the events of Pushkin’s poem required discretion.“Yes,” whispered back the Count. “And so was Pushkin.”She nodded in grave agreement.“In St. Petersburg,” she said. “On the banks of the Black Rivulet.”“On the banks of the Black Rivulet.”The young lady’s fish was now gone. Placing her napkin on her plate and nodding her head once to suggest how perfectly acceptable the Count had proven as a luncheon companion, she rose from her chair. But before turning to go, she paused.“I prefer you without your moustaches,” she said. “Their absence improves your . . . countenance.”Then she performed an off-kilter curtsey and disappeared behind the fountain. Read more <div id="

  • My review is about the Kindle version of this book. I read and enjoyed it–didn’t love it–but it wasn’t until I went to my book group to talk about it that I realized that a great deal of important material has been omitted from the Kindle version. there are additions, footnotes, introductions, and such, that give relevant Russian history, in the printed text, and they are central to understanding the book. They are absent from the Kindle version. Thus, as I read it, we had only the Count’s view of life, and it was like reading a book by the 1% for the 1% with very little awareness of the millions of Russians starving, imprisoned, and dying outside of the posh Moscow hotel. The hard copy of the book, which I had not seen, has lots of authorial intervention that apparently offer commentary on life outside of the hotel and therefore profoundly affect a reader’s understanding of the book. For shame to the electronic producers–If I were Towles I’d be furious.
  • I did finish the book at the request of a friend. But I was surprised by all the positive reviews. I think Annalisa Quinn’s review in NPR sums it up best: “A Gentleman in Moscow is like a quipping, suavely charming dinner companion that you are also a little relieved to escape at the end of the meal.”As literature, I found plot too predictable and the characters not believable.Despite a setting steeped in history, the story line and characters seems to be untouched by the atrocities that happened all around the country and the world, and out of touch with the realities around them. It paints communism as silly instead of diabolical, and the nobility as innocent victims instead of feckless. The author may not have intended to write historical fiction, but many reviewers comment about how much they learned about Russian history. This is unfortunate. If you’re intrigued about life in Russia under Stalin, please consider Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler.In addition to historical misrepresentations, there are multiple scientific ones as well. For example, on page 354, the Count describes the temperature of the water in the ice bucket as 50 degrees. Let’s assume Fahrenheit. If the bucket contained any ice at all, the temperature could not have been more than 32 degrees.People read books for many reasons. I categorize books I’ve read as the following:1 – Books that change my life2 – Books from which I learned something3 – Books that entertain me4 – Books that wasted my time because they did too little of 1, 2, or 3 for the time investedI don’t think this a bad book, but for myself personally, I would rate this book a 4. There are too many good books out there and too precious little time.
  • I really wanted to love this book. It was on my list for a while and I finally went for it. The writing was very witty and sophisticated. However – the main character basically roams around the hotel (which he is imprisoned) for many years. The book is about the people he meets. But here is the problem – it is boring and nothing important seems to happen. My hair literally went gray waiting for something of substance…..
  • I could not finish this book. It’s pretentious, boring, and full of not just errors, but total impossibilities. There were no noblemen openly living in Bolshevik Moscow in 1922, and certainly not in the Metropol Hotel. They had all been either lined up against the wall or hiding their origins.Many names are ridiculous (“Federova”? Really?). Fontanka is not a canal. One particularly stupid sentence refers to June 21 as “the last days of spring.” In Russia spring is counted from March 1 to May 31. Summer solstice as the “last day of spring” is an American nomenclature.And so on, and so forth. Don’t waste your time!
  • I’ve read many books and loved many books, but A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles may have just become my favorite.A Gentleman in Moscow is the 30-year saga of the Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, who is placed under house arrest inside the Metropol Hotel in Moscow in 1922 when the Bolsheviks spare him from death or Siberia because of his 1913 revolutionary poem written in university. The relationships he forms with staff and guests, his handling of twists of fate, his moral rectitude and his perseverance to go on in the face of his lifelong imprisonment for being a Former Person make for a compelling tale, told beautifully by Towles. It is not overwritten, and provides just enough historical contexts without being burdensome. And Towles doesn’t overdo the use of the Russian diminutive, which I’ve found in Russian classics to be crazy making and require a scorecard. Towles gives the reader just enough background of his characters. We know them but still wonder; he’s left room for the reader. The story unfolds so wonderfully that I don’t want to give away more of the plot.I literally sat and stared into space for an hour after I finished A Gentleman In Moscow, contemplating it and wishing it hadn’t ended.I may just have to re-read it.
  • I am a Russian and I am a historian. I had to read this book for a session of the Reading club and I was outraged at the authour’s ignorance of the basic facts of Russian and European History. Let’s see some examples of it. According to the book, the main protagonist of the book learned that the tsar family was in danger, and inmediately went to Russia from France. But in 1917-1918 Europe was in the fire of the Great war and nobody could pass from France through Germany to Russia. There was no other way to Russia, because travelling in the sea was extremely dangerous. All Russian citizens caught in France by the war could not return to Russia. And by the November of 1918, the end of the war, the tsar and his family were already dead.Another example. In the early 1920s when the protagonist of the book ate different pastries in a trendy pastry shop in Moscow and spoke with a daughter of a Comissar, there was a civil war in Russia and a great famine, because the war interrupted the normal agricultural works. People in Moscow had difficulties in buying the bread, let alone pastries.Every page of this book is full of these kind of mistakes. I cannot take this book or this story seriously. It has nothing to do with the real Russia or Russian history or Russian culture. It only reflects the ignorance of this writer who never tried to learn something about the subject he writes about.
  • Unlike many people, I hadn’t read Rules of Civility when I came to this novel and so I had no idea what to expect. It charmed its way into my heart from the very first page and, by the end, I was utterly enchanted.This is the story of the elegant Count Alexander Rostov who, in 1922 at the age of 33, is brought before a Bolshevik tribunal in Moscow. Condemned on the grounds of being an unrepentant aristocrat, he is saved from the firing squad by virtue of a youthful poem whose sentiments chime with the revolutionary desire for change. Instead of death, he is condemned to lifelong house arrest in his current place of residence: the Metropol Hotel. Removed from his suite and banished to a tiny room in the attics, the Count finds that his material circumstances have been much reduced, but he’s a philosopher at heart and faces his change in fortunes with one resolve: to master his life before his life masters him. And thus we see this wise, gracious gentleman learning to cut his cloth to its new measure. He turns his eyes away from the lilacs in the Alexander Gardens, forgets the glamour of his accustomed seat at the Bolshoi and learns to do without the delicate pastries of Filippov’s. Instead he finds a new subject for his examination: mankind.The story is leavened by moments of absurdity and shot through with quiet heartbreak, like a perfectly pitched symphony. Towles is thoughtful but never sentimental; heartwarming but never sickly; and bittersweet but never bitter. The difficulty is that one can’t explain why something is beautiful. If you asked me to explain why a painting or an aria or a poem was beautiful, I couldn’t do it. All I can say is that it is. And it’s the same here. Like any fine artwork, the story is perfectly balanced, and both reflects and transcends its time. We may not step outside the Metropol but, like the Count, we can watch the vagaries of Fortune as they blow in through the revolving doors, and study the metamorphosis of Bolshevism. Despite its weighty underlying themes, the story itself is designed with such care that it seems to sparkle, suspended, with an air of sprezzatura.I feel privileged to have spent this time in the company of Count Rostov – or, as I feel I almost have the right to call him, Sasha. This novel is joining the select ranks of my comfort books, and I’ll certainly be reading it again. In the meantime, all I can do is recommend it heartily to you as perfect material for a winter’s night curled in a blanket against the bitter cold outside. At a time when sincerity, tolerance and compassion are in short supply in the world around us, I’m delighted to discover that here these virtues become the very touchstones which enable a remarkable protagonist to weather the perils of a changing existence. A wonderful, heartwarming book.To read the full review, please visit my blog.
  • Well yes, it is fairly well-written, but it is not a literary book. It’s premise is attractive, but it just does not hold the attention. I only managed to get about a quarter of the way through. Nothing had happened. Man is trapped in a hotel and plays hide and seek with a young girl. Really I could not care less. It reminded me of the Hare with Amber Eyes – basically over-rated tosh. Don’t waste your hard-earned money on this. I gave up and started Silas Marner, which shows me how good writing can be. Why read this when novels by George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence etc are still available?
  • As a friend who recommended the book said, A Gentleman in Moscow is wonderful on so many levels! It has been a while since I enjoyed a book as much as I did this one. As a Russian I am usually wary of books about Russia written by foreigners. They are often full of clichés and misconceptions that I find annoying and that make me lose all respect for the author. A Gentleman in Moscow achieved the impossible. Somehow fiction is woven into the historically accurate facts so well that you can believe that it could have really happened. I knew exactly what the author was writing about and I appreciated all the subtle cultural references peppered throughout the book to make me want to re-read some of the Russian classics that I haven’t read since my school years. I was really surprised to find out that Amor Towles does not speak Russian nor has lived in Russia for any length of time. The amount of research that went into writing this book is astonishing! He captured this turbulent time in Russian history perfectly and I loved how the story moves from one period to the next accelerating and slowing down, contracting and expanding like breathing. Just how we experience Time depending on what is happening in our lives. The essence of the story lies in the words of Count Rostov’s godfather: If you can’t master your circumstances, they will master you. This premise is at the heart of Russian culture so is very fitting to a story about a Russian aristocrat. The book is wonderfully written in beautiful English. I didn’t want the story to end.
  • To quote the book: “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 largely sums up my association with this book. I’ve read this book curled up in my bed with a mug of hot-chocolate, between business meetings in order to cleanse my mind of the mundane and predictable, in the garden while sitting comfortably on a swing, and this morning at 3 am where I finished the final 150 pages, just as Apollo began his majestic journey across the horizon. And in the end my opinion is that this book is perhaps one of the most emotionally, linguistically and intellectually stimulating pieces of literature that I have had the good fortune to come across.The story of Count Alexander Rostov and his extended stay at The Hotel Metropol reveals to us that life is never something that can slip you by, provided you are willing to adapt. The Count makes it his business to master his circumstances the only way he knows how. With poise, dignity and impeccable taste. Over the course of his more than 30yrs. stay at the hotel, we see this Gentleman as a Noble, as a Commoner, as a Father, a Spy and finally a Man. He exemplifies an amalgam of the great wanderers of the past, like Odysseus and Crusoe who found themselves trapped in unforeseen circumstances, and emerge from the experience bearing a new clarity with regards to the concept of a ‘home’.I have not been so moved and entertained by vocabulary since P.G. Wodehouse, and indeed there is a great deal of the Wodehousian humor, mirth and mayhem in the corridors of the Metropol. There are times when one feels lost, especially when faced with historical contexts and characters that are introduced in page 50 and then intricately woven into the scene at page 276, however, like the great wanderers we arrive at a new destination just as we feel that we are doomed to wander aimlessly.
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