Martin's Must-Reads: 'A Gentleman in Moscow'

Jan 29, 2019

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

“At half past six on the twenty-first of June 1922, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov was escorted through the gates of the Kremlin onto Red Square, it was glorious and cool.”

I’m Betty Martin of "Martin’s Must Reads" and that is a line from A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. This is one of my favorite recent novels, with rich prose and wonderfully creative descriptions.

The hero of the story, Count Rostov, has written a subversive poem in 1922 and is exiled by a Bolshevik tribunal to live the rest of his life in the Metropol Hotel in Moscow, across from the Kremlin. If he sets one foot outside, he will be shot. He lives in a small attic room in the hotel for the next thirty years.

Ever the gentleman, he makes the most of his situation filling his days befriending those who work in the hotel and mentoring a young girl who is often a  guest. I love Towles writing’s another quote from the book. ”He figured a cup of coffee would hit the spot. For what is more versatile? As at home in tin as it is in Limoges, coffee can energize the industrious at dawn, calm the reflective at noon, or raise the spirits of the beleaguered in the middle of the night.” What coffee lover wouldn’t agree with that beautiful sentence? The story has a nice little twist at the end.

If you love a well written novel, you must read  A Gentleman In Moscow