Rich, enthralling, complex and intriguing we could not stop listening, brilliantly and subtly narrated by Nicholas Guy Smith
One of the best reads this year. draws you in and out of story. is a book to keep and re-read.
I didn't love this book as much as many others seem to. I did enjoy the writing style and found the characters fascinating, but the first four-fifths of the book is backstory that would have been much more engaging had it been woven into the "real" story that doesn't begin until the narrative is virtually over. Don't get me wrong--I enjoyed the various vignettes as I was reading them, but I kept wondering when something of substance was going to happen. All in all, I'd say this one illustrates the premise that a book can be less than the sum of its parts. A Gentleman in Moscow would have been twice as enjoyable at half the length.
I enjoyed the book very much and the narration was wonderful. I loved hearing about the rich Russian history and the relationships formed in unusual circumstances.
Excellent book. Hard to believe it was written by a non-Russian author. It captures nuances of the Russian historic events from the beginning to mid 20 century so well. Beautiful language, exquisite story of survival, and of unexpected personal ties and relationships.
Loved the way the author uses language with beautiful and descriptive imagery.
I LOVED this book! I usually read hard copies of books and rarely listen because the audio does not hold my attention, but this narrator was absolutely wonderful and the story was so interesting. Though the book was quite long, I felt like the writing was strong throughout, and the story was full of interesting plot twists, exquisite details, lovable characters, and--frankly--lots of wisdom for everyday life. And I learned so much about Russian history. If you don't mind the length, I can't recommend this book highly enough!
My favorite book this year
Good story, charismatic characters, but somehow the story line felt incomplete or vacant at times, and left me wondering the possibilities.
I didn't expect much from this book, but I loved it. I loved it maybe exactly because of the unrealistic flaws of its plot.
If I can describe the plot, omitting at this point spoilers, it will be with the Heraclitus quote: Change is the only constant in life. For a story about a Count under house arrest, over the timespan of decades (and 500 pages) to not become repetitive and boring, is an achievement!
I find it especially unbelievable that the main character - a former person, a Count - was never brought to a gulag or a detention camp, because that's what the bolsheviks did and they didn't necessarily need a reason to do so. I found it also less than likely that, once a Count, a person "born with a silver spoon" would go as far as to become a head waiter in the restaurant of the hotel he's imprisoned in. And yet - the way the story was written and the characters presented, I wanted to accept those glitches in the fabric of the book's universe as at least plausible. In my book, this is good writing, even if it's technically flawed. After all, while the novel is historical in nature, it is still fiction, so liberties of this sort actually didn't bother me much if at all.
Overall, I would gladly recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction about an extremely depressing period of history but told from the always-hopeful point of view only someone with means could maintain in such dark times.
A very rich story driven by detail and endearing characters. While the writing and narration were very thorough, I felt the book hard to commit to. So much of it was focused on Russian history and culture which I’m not very drawn to. I kept waiting for the more explicit development of the main character, or some action to move the plot forward, but these two things were somewhat overshadowed by the long tangents of environmental descriptions and historical remembrances. This was helpful in getting a sense of the ambiance and culture at the Hotel Metropol, and the culture of Moscow, but considering the length and density of the book, I didn’t have the patience to finish it.
Very compelling story with well-developed characters.
One of the best audiobooks I've listened to. Now I want to read the book. Didn't want it to end
I thoroughly enjoyed the story of the Count, all the characters were well drawn, engaging events and circumstances. A window into Moscow of the 1930’s and beyond.
One of my all time favorite reads. The writing is so elegant and the narration beautifully tells the story.
This was a beautiful book. Subtle and profound. Made me think about what makes a life worth living.
An utterly beautiful book. Sensitive and exiting.
Excellent narrator and a gripping story
The story is quite enjoyable and very smart, but the narrator absolutely makes this book a huge win.
Superb writing, beautifully crafted, delightful and yet subtly (sometimes less subtly) poignant, even tragic. A uniquely drawn view of Russia from the daily activities within an internationally renowned hotel of fascinating characters who become intertwined and, ultimately, significant to the protagonist as WW1, civil war and revolution, depression, WW2 and the Stalin eras go by. I will listen again with my husband on a long road trip. A splendid experience.
Great historical fiction
Such a great book!!!!
Excellent characters to love and wonder how allowed such openness at that Russian time
The themes were magnificently woven together government rule,understanding of heart connections and adventures with skill and courage
One of the most beautifully written books I’ve listened too. I’ve listened three times now. There’s hope, full relationships, and so much intelligence.
An absolutely beautiful book.
This is such a beautifully written feel-good book! The authors prose is amazing, the humor is well thought out and witty, the characters lovable and so easy to get attached to, and the overall message is very carefully constructed. Would 100% recommend to everyone!
Interesting time in history, made more interesting by the author and reader. What could be boring & monotonous (years-long stay in a hotel) flies by with an interesting story with lots of twists & turns, fascinating characters, and a great reader.
Loved it! So subtle and genteel.
For a book lacking any sort of engaging plot line, this story (or lack thereof) is surprisingly enjoyable. But this essential element to any good novel is missing, leaving all the focus on writing style and the rich description which the author so abundantly provides.
I like these stylistic elaborations, the unrepentant detail of the narration, and the continual musings of the Count, but a book with no direction, no plot, is pretty much unsalvageable. Still, it's good to read something different, just for a change.
Was not as enthralled and impressed as so many others it seems. It was a great story with fascinating characters but was dull in parts and didn’t really grasp me as the reader.
Amazing and enjoyable book. I had known Russia sent many to labor camps, Siberia, et al, but I had never conceived of house arrest! What an unusual way of punishing someone who had really not done anything against the state. I loved the ways he found to adapt to such a limited life style and I loved the way so many stepped up quietly to make his life better.
This book is also rather frightening in light of the radicals who only want to destroy our country, not because of any real concern for the people, this is to further their quest for power and only they will benefit!
Well written and narrated - I actually did the print and audio version.
It started off slow, but developed a wonderful rhythm and style. Fabulous narrator and loved the characters, historical backdrop and humor.
I enjoyed this book so much that I listened to it twice to make sure I hadn't missed anything. It has a quiet, gentle humour that I loved. I always appreciate character driven novels and this was no exception. Also, the narrator was so good he should be given some kind of award. I listen to a lot of audio books and Nicholas Guy Smith is by far the best I've had the pleasure to hear.
Absolutely loved this story. It was nothing like I expected but oh so much more! The Count was everything. He was oh so serious and proper but able to lower himself to engage with a child. Surely, the best of friends and something today's world is lacking in.
Loved it! Time well spent and one of the best books I have read in a long time.
Watching paint dry is more interesting. Couldn’t get through it.
The most boring book I have listened to in years. I tried four times to listen and get interested, but I had to give up and move on. Waste of money.
Absolutely exceptional author. This was a very hard book for me to get through, but I enjoyed the overall storyline.
It took a while for me to get engaged but once hooked I loved it. The reader was wonderful!
A captivating story where the plot line is constantly refreshed over the almost 40 years of the tale while keeping key elements and characters steady and true like the foundations of a great building. I look forward to staying at the Metropol and climbing the belfry stairs to the 6th floor.
This book is so hard to describe. It is beautiful and complicated. The characters are rich and interesting and the story weaves in and out of itself. Wonderful.
A little slow at first, but I found myself getting engaged, and I really liked it by the time it was over.
Loved this book. It is an amazing read! And the narrator captures Andre rostoff perfectly.
I listened on a car trip that lasted the entire reading/listening of the book. It is a literary masterpiece elegantly presented on the audio book format.
Fascinating story that holds so much truth about life and love and human nature. Captivating reading performance.
Awesome book and narration!
This was a wonderfully engaging and creative tale with underlying social and political commentary that added to the overall appeal of the book. It was perfectly performed by reader Smith. The British accent brought authenticity that would have been lacking in an America's rendition. I must confess, I fell a little bit in love with Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov...
I was totally surprised how much I enjoyed this book! I will be recommending it to many people. Will the ending lead to continuing the story?
This story was rich and engaging. It's not easy to write about one singular setting and keep readers so interested.
Although I have 2 hours left to go before the end, I am already saddened that this story is going to end. What a wonderful time it has been listening to this book. I am excited to give this book as gifts to some of my best friends, and family. It has truly been a pleasure.
This is a warmly written account of a man who begins as a charming dilettante, and evolves into a man of wisdom, love, and grace, all while imprisoned in a Moscow hotel. The encroachment of communism into Russian society is told with clarity and light, through the individuals who lives are forever altered. Yet even amidst this army of the mean spirited and small minded, friendships may be formed, and help may be received and given.
I'm sure this is a great book to read, but listening to it adds extra nuance and depth.
Painfully boring, don't recommend , no plot to speak of ; dry
One of the best books I have ever read. And I read a lot. Beautifully written, great story, amazing character development.
Fabulous! So well written you could picture yourself in the hotel!
I enjoyed every second of this novel. In my mind a blend of Hardy, leCarre and Tolstoy, a splendid piece of work. Actually just what I needed to put the current upheaval in American politics. The novel reaffirmed the role of civility and integrity as the prime forces in civilization, and an excellent tonic to rid oneself of the modern worship of the individual superstar killing off masses of evil ne'er do wells and saving society for us non super heros.
I have highly recommended this book to several friends who are similarly enthralled.
Well dome Amor Towles.
Loved the storytelling across decades, the rich sensory descriptions, the wonderful Characters. I didn't want it to end!
I appreciated and admired the writing style, but this is definitely not a light, relaxing read. I had difficulty really connecting with it. It would be an excellent book club read, however!
Splendid read. I learned something new at the playing of each track. The narrator could not have been more perfect.
Good book, tells a lot of Russia seen from a different view.
Absolutely love this App! I am addicted- and so are my teenage kids!
Amor Towles does not disappoint and the narration is fabulous! Perfect book to listen to and enjoy.
Absolutely wonderful! The narrator was superb and put me in another world.
A wonderful, wonderful book. It was beautifully read by the narrator!
The best book of the year. A beautiful and unique story with excellent narration.
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