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Cover image for A gentleman in Moscow
Format:
Title:
A gentleman in Moscow
ISBN:
9780670026197

9780735221673

9781786330383

9780099558781
Publication:
New York : Viking, [2016]
Physical Description:
462 pages : map ; 24 cm
Summary:
""In all ways a great novel, a nonstop pleasure brimming with charm, personal wisdom, and philosophic insight.this book more than fulfills the promise of Towles' stylish debut, Rules of Civility."--Kirkus Reviews (starred) From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility--a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel With his breakout debut novel, Rules of Civility, Amor Towles established himself as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction, bringing late 1930s Manhattan to life with splendid atmosphere and a flawless command of style. Readers and critics were enchanted; as NPR commented, "Towles writes with grace and verve about the mores and manners of a society on the cusp of radical change." A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count 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 a doorway 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"-- Provided by publisher.
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TOWLES Amor
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Towles, A. Gentleman
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TOWLES, A.
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Towles, A.
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FIC TOWLES 2016
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TOWLES
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FICTION TOWLES
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FICTION TOWLES
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Towles, A.
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Towles, A.
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FIC TOWLES
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Towles, A.
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Summary

Summary

A New York Times bestseller

"The same gorgeous, layered richness that marked Towles' debut, Rules of Civility , shapes [ A Gentleman in Moscow ]" - Entertainment Weekly
 
"Elegant... as lavishly filigreed as a Fabergé egg" - O, the Oprah Magazine
 
He can't leave his hotel. You won't want to.
 
From the  New York Times  bestselling author of  Rules of Civility --a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel 

"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

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.

"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


Author Notes

Amor Towles grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale College and received an M.A. in English from Stanford University where he was a Scowcroft Fellow. His novel, "Rules of Civility" reached the bestseller lists of The New York Times, the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times. The book was rated by The Wall Street Journal as one of the ten best works of fiction in 2011. The book has been published in 15 languages. In the fall of 2012, the novel was optioned to be made into a feature film. Viking/Penguin published Towles's next novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, on September 6, 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

House arrest has never been so charming as in Towles's second novel (following Rules of Civility), an engaging 30-year saga set almost entirely inside the Metropol, Moscow's most luxurious hotel. To Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, the Metropol becomes both home and jail in 1922, when the Bolsheviks spare his life (on the strength of a revolutionary poem written in 1913, when the count was at university). Forbidden to venture out, Rostov explores the intricacies of the grand structure and befriends its other denizens: precocious nine-year-old Nina Kulikova, a bureaucrat's daughter who demands instruction on how to be a princess; Emile, virtuosic chef of the Boyarsky, "the finest restaurant in Moscow"; Andrey, the Boyarsky's French expatriate maître d'; and the beautiful actress Anna Urbanova, who becomes the count's regular visitor and paramour. Standing in for the increasingly despotic Soviet government is the Bishop, a villainous waiter who experiences gradual professional ascent-he becomes headwaiter of the Boyarsky, finally putting his seating-chart and wine-pairing talents to use. But when the adult Nina returns to ask Rostov for a favor, his unique, precariously well-appointed life must change once more. Episodic, empathetic, and entertaining, Count Rostov's long transformation occurs against a lightly sketched background of upheaval, repression, and war. Gently but dauntlessly, like his protagonist, Towles is determined to chart the course of the individual. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

In his remarkable first novel, the best-selling Rules of Civility (2011), Towles etched 1930s New York in crystalline relief. Though set a world away in Moscow over the course of three decades, his latest polished literary foray into a bygone era is just as impressive. Sentenced as an incorrigible aristocrat in 1922 by the Bolsheviks to a life of house arrest in a grand Moscow hotel, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is spared the firing squad on the basis of a revolutionary poem he penned as an idealistic youth. Condemned, instead, to live his life confined to the indoor parameters of Metropol Hotel, he eschews bitterness in favor of committing himself to practicalities. As he carves out a new existence for himself in his shabby attic room and within the magnificent walls of the hotel-at-large, his conduct, his resolve, and his commitment to his home and to the hotel guests and staff together form a triumph of the human spirit. As Moscow undergoes vast political changes and countless social upheavals, Rostov remains, implacably and unceasingly, a gentleman. Towles presents an imaginative and unforgettable historical portrait.--Flanagan, Margaret Copyright 2016 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

NO TURNING BACK: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria, by Rania Abouzeid. (Norton, $17.95.) Abouzeid has spent years on the ground in Syria covering the civil war, and she combines extraordinary reporting with a historical and political overview of the origins of the conflict. In her book she focuses on a small group of characters, and their stories offer an intimate look at the impact of violence and tragedy. A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW, by Amor Towles. (Penguin, $17.) In Towles's hugely popular novel, an aristocrat under arrest watches from a posh hotel as the Russian Revolution unfolds. Our reviewer, Craig Taylor, wrote, "What saves the book is the gorgeous sleight of hand that draws it to a satisfying end, and the way he chooses themes that run deeper than mere sociopolitical commentary." LOOK ALIVE OUT THERE: Essays, by Sloane Crosley. (Picador/MCD, $17.) Fans of Crosley, the author of "I Was Told There'd Be Cake" and "How Did You Get This Number," will be pleased to see her signature wit on full display in this new collection. The pieces draw on everything from her volcano-scaling escapades to the death of her solitary downstairs neighbor. Her observations, even the most sobering, are shot through with hope. THE BALCONY, by Jane Delury. (Back Bay/Little, Brown, $15.99.) This debut novel leaps back and forth to tell the stories of a property's inhabitants, starting in the 19 th century through the recent past. The state of the house, from dilapidation to haphazard renovation, mirrors the shifting relationships among its residents, including a Jewish family in hiding, a former courtesan and more. Our reviewer, Jan Stuart, praised the novel, writing, "The vivid intimacy of Delury's canvas is enhanced by descriptive prose at once concise and lush." TAILSPIN: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall - and Those Fighting to Reverse It, by Steven Brill. (Vintage, $16.95.) In this lament, Brill places a special focus on the laws and public decisions that have ushered in the current political and legal stalemates. It's not all depressing reading, however, as Brill is careful to highlight people and groups he believes are working to address our present problems. SMALL COUNTRY, by Gael j ··4 paye Trans|atecj by Sarah 4 Ardizzone. (Hogarth, $15.) A best seller in France, this novel borrows some ele"???? ments from the author's life to tell the story of a young boy, Gabriel, who is uprooted from his happy childhood in Burundi after civil war between the Hutus and Tutsis breaks out in the 1990s. The book charts Gabriel's loss of innocence in the face of violence.


Library Journal Review

Towles follows his best-selling novel of 1930s New York (Rules of Civility) with a sophisticated saga of life in Moscow under Bolshevik and Soviet rule. In 1922, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is pronounced an "unrepentant aristocrat" and sentenced to house arrest in his home-away-from-home, the Metropol Hotel, only spared being "put against the wall" because of a prerevolutionary poem he wrote in 1913. After he is marched across Red Square, Rostov is warned that if he ever steps outside the Metropol, he'll be shot. Despite being moved from his sumptuous suite to a 100 square foot attic room, Rostov vows to live his reduced life to the fullest, remembering the words of his godfather, the Grand Duke: "if a man does not master his circumstances, he is bound to be mastered by them." After being befriended by Nina, a bureaucrat's delightfully precocious nine-year-old daughter, who wears a master key to the hotel around her neck, the two explore the intricacies of the grand building, encountering many charming and colorful characters along the way. As the years go by, Moscow undergoes tremendous political and social upheaval, but these changes lurk in the shadows as Rostov and his Metropol family somehow carry on, beautifully demonstrating the strength of the human spirit. Nicholas Guy Smith masterfully narrates this exquisite story, bringing to life an unforgettable protagonist who could well become a favorite to listeners. VERDICT For all lovers of good fiction. ["This enthralling work is highly recommended even for those unfamiliar with Soviet history": LJ 8/16 starred review of the Viking hc.]-Beth -Farrell, -Cleveland State Univ. Law Lib. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.