A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers--Now a Paramount+ with Showtime series starring Ewan McGregor as Count Alexander Rostov

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Table for Two, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and 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 entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
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496 pages

Average rating: 7.98




Community Reviews

Jul 19, 2024
3/10 stars
Very unpopular opinion here but I didn’t love this book. If you’re looking for historical fiction true to the times I would not recommend this one, but if you’re looking for historical fiction heavy on the fiction with feel good moments and a happy slice of life feel you might enjoy this one more than I did. Despite the dark times in history, this book is lighthearted and goofy which was a very strange take in my opinion. You hear vaguely about people suffering outside the hotel but it’s always in a paragraph or side note and quickly gone, instead you get the Count’s privileged life in the Metropol hotel and his little dalliances as he ages and very, very slowly, begins to show growth. I usually like my historical fiction to be dark and plausible, set in reality, and plot focused which is the exact opposite of A Gentleman in Moscow. The Count is sentenced to live in a fictional hotel during the Russian Revolution due to a political poem he wrote years before. Historically speaking the Count’s predicament itself is incredibly fantastical considering the history of Russia at this time and realistically he would probably have just been killed, so right away you have to suspend disbelief and just go with it. What proceeds is more tongue in cheek commentary with heartfelt scenes between the Count and the guests of the Metropol which I found boring but if you enjoy lighthearted novels heavy on commentary maybe you’d enjoy it? Another issue I had with this book along with its fantastical elements, was the pacing! This book is way too long in my opinion, we spend about 300 pages setting the scene and only with the last 100 do things actually start to pick up plot wise. Instead a majority of the book centers around the Count’s interactions with guests, his philosophical ideals, what it means to be a gentleman, and random anecdotes about fine wood crown moulding and what wine pairs best with roasted duck. A Gentleman in Moscow is a character driven book with social commentary and tons of random anecdotes and tangents thrown in about Russia before the revolution but not much else. I see what the author was attempting to do with this one, but in my opinion it just didn’t work. This book could have been half the size and I think the impact would have been the same if not better, because I would not have had to drudge through pages and pages of fluff or irrelevance. Along with the suspension of disbelief and the pacing I also wasn’t a huge fan of the characters. Alexander Rostov, the Count himself I found to be incredibly pretentious and selfish, always doing what benefits him or improves upon his image. I could not relate to him, even later in the novel when we FINALLY see some growth he had only slightly grown on me. There is also a wide array of side characters which led to my other problem which was the female representation. We have young girl to provide Rostov with entertainment and new outlooks, a daughter type, we have beautiful woman whose sole purpose is to have sex with The Count basically the wife, and then we have the mother in Marina who is the hotel’s seamstress. The women are there but they’re not well crafted and they each represent a female archetype and no depth beyond what they are in relation to The Count. With so many well crafted male characters why couldn’t we have multifaceted female characters? This lack of strong female characters for a majority of the book was another factor in my overall enjoyment of this novel. In addition to all these reasons for my rating I also have the very personal review that this book is just plain BORING. Almost 500 pages and you don’t get answers to anything until the last 100, and when you do you’re so bored from all the fluff and random anecdotes that the twist and ending don’t really have much impact anymore. Overall, I feel A Gentleman in Moscow does not thrive as a historical novel but if you’re looking for a character driven commentary set in a real place with fantastical elements maybe you’ll enjoy this, but for me it was boring, unoriginal, and pretentious.
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Jul 05, 2024
10/10 stars
Perfection! Another masterpiece by Amor Towles.
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Jun 27, 2024
I appreciated how Amor Towles was able to write about increasing depression and emotional strife without being whiny. Also, beautiful mixture of looking back and the present. Sassy and well-written. Became friends with Alexander in the court case at the front of the book.
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Janet H
May 22, 2024
8/10 stars
Absolutely loved this book. Brilliant use of language, wonderful characters, set in an interesting period in history.
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Apr 10, 2024
7/10 stars
The Count was almost the opposite of Ignassius J Riley from A Confederacy of Duncess. He was refined and classy in his humor. I found the ending a bit of a let down.
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