This book was just what I needed. For starters the main character is forced to spend all of his time in one building. Granted that building has a five star restaurant, a full-service bar, and a barber shop that's allowed to operate but the man is stuck inside all the same. It kind of seems fitting right about now.
This was a charming book from start to finish. I adored the Count. I adored Nina. I adored Sophia. I adored everyone we met in this book. Even some of the high ranking Russian officials. The Count was one of those men it was impossible not to be charmed by. I can see where some readers might have an issue with this. People like characters to have obvious flaws. They like when bad things happen. They like brooding. The Count had obvious flaws and bad things did happen to him (You don't get forced into house arrest for the rest of your life for nothing. Well maybe in Communist Russia but it sure beats the firing squad.). The Count just wasn't the type to brood. That doesn't mean he was happy all the time either. The Count is much more complicated than that. Unless you read the book, you just won't understand it.
When I first started this book, my immediate thought was it was much like an adult version of Eloise. The Count lives in the tippy top floor. The Metropol is much like the Plaza. The Count isn't quite as naughty as Eloise but he's not without his shenanigans. This comparison remained apt through out the novel's entirety. I think it lends to the charm.
Aside from the characters, I can see people taking issue with words themselves. The author has English related degrees from Yale and Stanford. His education is on full display at The Metropol. At times his word choices border on arrogant but it works. There is nothing wrong with an author who sets out to publish a smartly written book. At the end of the day, that's what this is. I get where that might rub people the wrong way. They may feel like he's insulting your intelligence. He's not. He's just displaying his own. What his own intelligence translates into is a lyrical work with more notable passages than I can track.
This is one of those books I will heartily recommend to anyone who asks with the understand that they will either love it or loathe it. If you love it? Wonderful. If you loathe it? That's fine too. We're all different.
Because I can't focus on just one thing at a time while I'm working on this, I have about 15 different browser tabs open. In one, there is a group discussion of this book where some talks about a movie that was rumored to be in production with Kenneth Branagh in the lead. I'm not opposed to that casting. I just don't think it works for the whole movie. The book starts with the Count in his early 30s. Branagh, while brilliant just might be a little too old to go start to finish. He definitely has the charm to pull it off. I would also like to throw Tom Hiddleston into the ring as a man who oozes charm. Again, the age thing might be problematic. Any one else who has read this book have any other suggestions?
Dates read 4/24/2020-5/1/2020