• Mona Shah

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles


This is a novel that aims to charm, and the result is a winning, stylish novel that keeps things easy. Flair is always the goal — Towles never lets anyone merely say goodbye when they could bid adieu, never puts a period where an exclamation point or dramatic ellipsis could stand. Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov — a member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt — was already ensconced in luxury in Suite 317 when he was sentenced to house arrest in a 1922 trial, condemned for writing a poem. Saved from a bullet to the head or exile in Siberia because he was deemed a hero of the pre-revolutionary cause, he has been forcefully installed on a new floor. But Rostov is an optimist. A Gentleman in Moscow is like a quipping, suavely charming dinner companion.

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