A Gentleman in MoscowBook - 2016
From Library Staff
BostonPL_AnnaD Dec 29, 2016
Book Discussion Date: March 28th 2017. General Fiction. A count is sentenced to house arrest in a hotel across from the Kremlin during the most tumultuous decades in Russian history.
Not what I thought it would be, this book deals more with the main character's new life trapped inside a famous hotel in Moscow rather than what's happening in the world outside. What I loved about it was that he didn't let the fact that he was "trapped" slow him down. He led a great li... Read More »
From the critics
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“…if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.” - p. 18
“Manners are not like bonbons, Nina. You may not choose the ones that suit you best; and you certainly cannot put the half-bitten ones back in the box. . . .” - p. 52
“Here, indeed, was a formidable sentence--one that was on intimate terms with a comma, and that held the period in healthy disregard.” - p. 68
“It is a sad but unavoidable fact of life," he began, "that as we age our social circles grow smaller. Whether from increased habit or diminished vigor, we suddenly find ourselves in the company of just a few familiar faces.” - p. 94
“After all, what can a first impression tell us about someone we’ve just met for a minute in the lobby of a hotel? For that matter, what can a first impression tell us about anyone? Why, no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli. 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.” - pp. 120-121
“Showing a sense of personal restraint that was almost out of character, the Count had restricted himself to two succinct pieces of parental advice. The first was that if one did not master one’s circumstances, one was bound to be mastered by them; and the second was Montaigne’s maxim that the surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness.” - p. 419
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The author shows insight into the customs. language, and values of his characters and their time. In just a few words he makes the reader picture the scene and often leaves gaps of years, leaving an explanation of what happened during this time for later in the story. A book that I couldn't put down.
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