A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was 100% charming - I did not want it to end.
Count Rostov is everything a reader could ask for in a protagonist: cultured, clever, elegant, brave, patient, thoughtful, and adventuresome.
The entire book is a tribute to what the Bolsheviks in Russia could NOT change and could never achieve. Yes, they could overthrow a monied monarchy and provisional governments, too. They could spy and bully, and they could steal the possessions of others. But, they could never, never acquire the manners, morals and intelligence which they sought to eliminate.
The silly leaders of the revolution were infuriated by Rostov's geniality; the reader is rooting for Rostov from the very start.
This is a friendly book. No need to directly confront the brutality and bloodshed of the era. Instead, we are treated to the beauty of grace in the human spirit which, in Rostov's case, proves indomitable.
It is great fun to watch as Count Rostov cheerfully faces his diminished circumstances and even more fun to bear witness to his clever reinvention of self.
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