A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery..."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, an imprint of Random House LLC, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780670026197
Call Number: F TOWLES A
Characteristics: 462 pages : map ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

A fascinating historical novel about a count sentenced to house arrest for 30 years in the Hotel Metropol in Moscow.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 24, 2020

Absolutely loved the more sophisticated sense of humour of the book. And it was fascinating how the author described the life of the Count in the Metropol, without in any way belittling or skipping over the horrible events taking place in the Soviet Union throughout this period. It reminded me a lot of author Donald Jack. I will definitely be prioritizing other books by Amor Towles.

Jan 07, 2020

An immensely enjoyable literary journey. Pity it had to end.

Jan 06, 2020

There could never be such a story or such a character in Russia or even in Russian literature. You won't know anything true about Russia or Russian people from this book. Count Rostov here is neither a hero , nor so-called "Little Man" so common in Russian literature , but just an absolutely uninteresting English/American gentleman, mostly caring about food and wine. I gave up after 200 pages-soooo boring and unbelievable. The only good thing after that sad experience is that I finally decided to read Anna Karenina - what a pleasure it was!

Nov 21, 2019

Sorry, no. All I can see are American characters in a Moscow stage-set. The title of the book is telling; a story about a nobleman in Moscow might have been more interesting..

Nov 02, 2019

This book is superb; the kind that you need to dedicate the time and attention that it deserves. It really should be read twice to appreciate the complexity of the characters and the nuances of the plot. It does take a bit of time to get into it, and I probably would have given up if not for the great reviews, and that it was for my book club, but it really does pick up and the ending is quite well done.
Great, great characters!

ser_library Oct 25, 2019

too long, 100+ pages could have been cut

Aug 30, 2019

Begin on Part 3

Aug 28, 2019

I don’t get what the hype was with this book. I read this after so many great reviews but I could hardly keep going after the first 50 pages, it was painful.... the writing style was too extravagant and he uses too many synonyms at once to describe every detail that it is almost frustrating to get to the point... even my friend read it after me and didn’t want to finish it

_McGeek_ Aug 06, 2019

I was recommended by lots of people to read this book, and I honestly thought going into it that it was a serious spy novel. It was a lot more of a light hearted, enjoyable read than I expected, and still managed to be a page turner without much of a plot or being an accurate historical representation of Russia at that time. This probably because the main character is just so likable. I'd recommend this book for sure as a light summer read, despite the hefty size!

Jul 31, 2019

Quite enjoyed this book, amazingly so....however, I TOTALLY agree with" wyenotgo", as too much is known about the Stalinist regime/communism to allow one to believe this other than as "a great imagination" story. You'd have to be blind or uneducated regarding current factual events of that time period to believe it as true. I still enjoyed reading it.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Aug 06, 2019

TV mini-series in development no date

Jun 05, 2018

“…if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.” - p. 18

Jun 05, 2018

“Manners are not like bonbons, Nina. You may not choose the ones that suit you best; and you certainly cannot put the half-bitten ones back in the box. . . .” - p. 52

Jun 05, 2018

“Here, indeed, was a formidable sentence--one that was on intimate terms with a comma, and that held the period in healthy disregard.” - p. 68

Jun 05, 2018

“It is a sad but unavoidable fact of life," he began, "that as we age our social circles grow smaller. Whether from increased habit or diminished vigor, we suddenly find ourselves in the company of just a few familiar faces.” - p. 94

Jun 05, 2018

“After all, what can a first impression tell us about someone we’ve just met for a minute in the lobby of a hotel? For that matter, what can a first impression tell us about anyone? Why, no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli. By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration—and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting at every possible hour.” - pp. 120-121

Jun 05, 2018

“Showing a sense of personal restraint that was almost out of character, the Count had restricted himself to two succinct pieces of parental advice. The first was that if one did not master one’s circumstances, one was bound to be mastered by them; and the second was Montaigne’s maxim that the surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness.” - p. 419


Add a Summary
Mar 14, 2018

The author shows insight into the customs. language, and values of his characters and their time. In just a few words he makes the reader picture the scene and often leaves gaps of years, leaving an explanation of what happened during this time for later in the story. A book that I couldn't put down.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SFPL

To Top