Our Book Of The Month for July is A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles. For our online Book Clubbers we have some questions around the book for you to get involved with. Either answer below or use as discussion points at your next Book Club. Happy Book Clubbing!
“On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt – is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol.
Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. But instead of his usual suite, he must now live in an attic room while Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval.
Can a life without luxury be the richest of all?”
The following are written with the presumption you have read A Gentleman In Moscow. If you haven’t, bookmark the post for now so you can come back and answer the questions later.
- The book is set during a tumultuous period of Russian history, yet often reads as though it is a love letter to Russia – it’s food, it’s culture, it’s people. Do you agree? What is your favourite thing to have come out of Russia?
- How did you react when you found out the Count did not write the poem for which he was placed under house arrest? Do you agree with his sentiments that it saved him?
- At page 15, Towles makes the decision to introduce footnotes in to the story, non more so evident than the one starting on page 100 that spreads to several pages. Did you like these additions? Or did they break the flow of the story for you?
- What page were you at when you realised all the chapters began with a word starting with A? (pg 278 for us!) Towles gives an excellent answer as to why they all begin with A here.
- How much did it help the Count to be placed under house arrest in somewhere like the Metropol? Would his outlook have been the same if he had been placed in a Country House somewhere in the middle of nowhere? How about in a modern hotel in today’s world with all its technology?
- The Count clearly loves the finer things in life, yet doesn’t seem remotely phased by his removal to the attic. Taking on a job as a waiter is also something your ‘ordinary’ Count would consider beneath him. Why is the Count never once embarrassed by his change of circumstances? Why does he take on the job as waiter?
Get Involved with A Gentleman In Moscow
Feel free to answer as many of the questions as you like, it’s not an all or nothing thing. Post your replies below, discuss with us on social media using @BookSocialUK, or pose some questions of your own. If you enjoyed answering our A Gentleman In Moscow questions, have a go at our last month’s Get Involved: Catherine Steadman’s, Something In The Water.
And make sure you come back on 27 July to read our #BigReview of A Gentleman In Moscow.