The Blo/No Literary Alliance discussion

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Gentleman in Moscow > (1) *Start Here*

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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenichenny) | 61 comments Mod
Start your discussion here! Introduce yourself and share general thoughts on the book!


message 2: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Bloch | 26 comments Hi! I'm Sharon. I usually don't read fiction, but I really enjoyed the book. It gave me a good feel for what life was like in Russia during that time period.


message 3: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenichenny) | 61 comments Mod
Hi Sharon! I loved this one, such beautiful writing! However, a lot of the Russian history was lost on me as I haven't previously studied Russian history.


message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenichenny) | 61 comments Mod
I kind of wonder how my experience would have gone had I know more about their revolution.


message 5: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Bloch | 26 comments I only know a little about Russian history. I read a lot of Russian literature in college. However, I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't recognize the Count's name. I just started reading War and Peace and Rostov is a big family in the book. I'm guessing that was deliberate on the author's part, but I missed it.


message 6: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenichenny) | 61 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "I only know a little about Russian history. I read a lot of Russian literature in college. However, I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't recognize the Count's name. I just started reading War and..."

interesting! I didn't catch that one either!


message 7: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Bloch | 26 comments In fact, I think there is a character in War and Peace named Alexander Ilyich Rostov, same as the Count. I can't find my copy of War and Peace right now.


message 8: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Bloch | 26 comments Yep - I checked. Thank you Google! It is the same character.


message 9: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenichenny) | 61 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "In fact, I think there is a character in War and Peace named Alexander Ilyich Rostov, same as the Count. I can't find my copy of War and Peace right now."

I'll have to look into that one, I know they reference it in a Gentleman in Moscow as one of the great Russian contributions.


message 10: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Bloch | 26 comments Everyone says War and Peace is the greatest novel ever and I've always wanted to read it, but it is REALLY long. Anyway, back to a Gentleman in Moscow.


message 11: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Bloch | 26 comments One thing, and maybe it's just me and because I was trying to finish the last 100 pages by tonight, but I thought the ending was a little rushed. It seems like there is a big jump in time from Sofia winning the piano competition to their escape. Time certainly slows down during the escape, and it was hard not to skip ahead because I wanted to see if they make it, but things accelerated very quickly before that.


message 12: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenichenny) | 61 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "Everyone says War and Peace is the greatest novel ever and I've always wanted to read it, but it is REALLY long. Anyway, back to a Gentleman in Moscow."

Yeah I'm not even brave enough to put it on my to read list lol. I have added a couple new topics under the folder heading for other discussion points.


message 13: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenichenny) | 61 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "One thing, and maybe it's just me and because I was trying to finish the last 100 pages by tonight, but I thought the ending was a little rushed. It seems like there is a big jump in time from Sofi..."

Yeah I had mixed feelings on the ending. I was ready for it to end but I was also on vacation and was in the mood for a light read and I think that made me rush towards the end.

The author mentions that he wrote the book in duplicating time. One day, next chapter is 2 days, next is 4 next is 2 weeks, next is 1 month all the way to 16 year jumps. then in reverse. so we start the novel rushed and end rushed with large time gaps in the middle.


message 14: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Bloch | 26 comments That makes sense. I'm glad he slowed things down at the end. I just got the feeling he had taken the story as far as he could and decided, "well, I need to end it now." Other than that, I really liked the book and it's inspired me to read more Russian history.


message 15: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Bloch | 26 comments As long as I'm nitpicking, I also had a problem with the fact that there is no mention of the Count making living arrangements for Sofia as she got older. It's fine to have her stay in his room when she's 6, but she should not be sleeping in the same room with him, especially such a small room, when she's 16. I thought that should have been addressed.


message 16: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenichenny) | 61 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "That makes sense. I'm glad he slowed things down at the end. I just got the feeling he had taken the story as far as he could and decided, "well, I need to end it now." Other than that, I really li..."

Agreed. I was looking for a good book on Russian history. How did you feel about the ending? I was happy it ended that way but it seemed too easy.


message 17: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenichenny) | 61 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "As long as I'm nitpicking, I also had a problem with the fact that there is no mention of the Count making living arrangements for Sofia as she got older. It's fine to have her stay in his room whe..."

Yeah I did find that odd. I also never understood why he didn't setup her own bedroom in his private study room.


message 18: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Bloch | 26 comments Jennifer wrote: "Sharon wrote: "That makes sense. I'm glad he slowed things down at the end. I just got the feeling he had taken the story as far as he could and decided, "well, I need to end it now." Other than th..."

I'm glad they got away, but it was too easy. Nobody from the KGB was watching Sofia while she wasn't performing? And the way the Count had her cut her hair and change clothes for her big escape, I thought she would have to travel more than a few blocks. She seemed to get to safety very fast.


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