Twentieth century history seems to be repeating itself lately with news accounts of Russian intrigue in the U.S. and Cold War-style global brinksmanship.
New York-based writer Amor Towles takes that flashback motif even farther back, to the years just after the Russian Revolution. His new novel “A Gentleman in Moscow” (Viking, $27, 462 pages) spins an intimate, yet also expansive tale of 30-year-old Count Alexander Rostov, who is sentenced by the Bolsheviks to house arrest in 1922 in the grand Metropol hotel across the street from the Kremlin.
Over the ensuing decades, visitors to the hotel bring news of the convulsing outside world to the count. In the process, the opulent hotel and its staff become a world unto themselves. According to a New York Times review, “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.”
A former investment professional, Towles’ latest novel comes off his popular 2011 book “Rules of Civility” set in 1930s Manhattan. Towles is scheduled to appear at The Bee Book Club at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 11 to talk about “A Gentleman in Moscow” and how he comes up with his stylish, unforgettable stories. You can read more about Towles at his website www.amortowles.com/. Information about the event can be found at www.sacbee.com/events.
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Sacramento Bee Book Club
What: Bee Book Club event with Amor Towles, author of “Rules of Civility” and, most recently, “A Gentleman in Moscow”
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 11. Doors open at 5:15 p.m.
Where: The Sacramento Bee, 2100 Q St.
Cost: Tickets to the event are $20 for seven-day-a-week subscribers, $10 for students and $25 for general admission. Buy tickets online at www.sacbee.com/events.
Buying the book: Barnes & Noble will be on site, selling “A Gentleman in Moscow” for 30 percent off the list price. The book also will be offered for a 30 percent discount through July 11 at these bookstores: in Sacramento, at five Barnes & Nobles stores, the Avid Reader at the Tower, Underground Books, Time Tested Books and California State University, Sacramento’s Hornet Bookstore; in Davis at the Avid Reader; in El Dorado Hills at Face in a Book; and in Grass Valley at The Bookseller.
All proceeds benefit The Bee’s News In Education program, bringing news and information to more than 20,000 students in the region.