Friday, October 28, 2016
A Gentleman in Moscow
Count Alexander Rostov, a Russian aristocrat, runs afoul of the Bolsheviks and, in 1922, is sentenced to lifetime house arrest in his home at the grand Hotel Metropol across from the Kremlin in Moscow. He is removed from his lavish suite and moved to a small attic room with only the few belongings he can managed to fit there. There, he manages to make his life and retain much of his dignity through ingenuity, his hidden stash of gold coins, and the help of his friends on the staff. In spite of being watched over by the ever suspicious hotel manager, aka "The Bishop", Over thirty-plus years, Rostov's confined life grows into that of a lover, a father, a confidante, and much more. Towles has written an elaborate and richly detailed story where the minute details slowly combine to reveal more and more about Rostov and his life and the real reason for his imprisonment. The ending could be a sign of a sequel but I don't think the author will take it there because he doesn't need to. I hope Mr. Towles doesn't take another five years to write his next book.