A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

Book - 2016
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A New York Times bestseller

"The same gorgeous, layered richness that marked Towles' debut, Rules of Civility , shapes [ A Gentleman in Moscow ]" - Entertainment Weekly
"Elegant... as lavishly filigreed as a Fabergé egg" - O, the Oprah Magazine
He can't leave his hotel. You won't want to.
From the  New York Times  bestselling author of  Rules of Civility --a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel 

"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.  With them around, a life sentence in these gilded halls might make Rostov the luckiest man in Russia." - The New York Times Book Review

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.

"And the intrigue! ... [ A Gentleman in Moscow ] is laced with sparkling threads (they will tie up) and tokens (they will matter): special keys, secret compartments, gold coins, vials of coveted liquid, old-fashioned pistols, duels and scars, hidden assignations (discreet and smoky), stolen passports, a ruby necklace, mysterious letters on elegant hotel stationery... a luscious stage set, backdrop for a downright Casablanca -like drama." - The San Francisco Chronicle
Publisher: New York, New York :, Viking,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780670026197
Branch Call Number: FIC TOW
Characteristics: 462 pages : maps ; 24 cm


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Apr 20, 2018

Perfect read for the book club, when ladies' proclivity of feeling good peppered with emotion turmoil.
I kept in mind of my proletariat upbringing, working class ethics, intellectual enrichment in minimum material means, ideology (that would deprave but not...), lack and envious of aristocrat elegance..., I tried to discount such a fictionalized fairy tale and a grandiloquent personal epic. Nevertheless, I was totally captivated by the humor and wisdom delivered in an utterly artificial setting against the true historical backdrop with fake minutiae I care about deeply.
The bottom line is, I identify with the Count (Sasha, Rostov, Alexander, "Your Excellency").

The writer's craft seems intuitive, a non-acquired talent.

Apr 10, 2018

A beautifully constructed story. Every word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, and chapter are to be savored.

Apr 08, 2018

It was so very enjoyable to read this book!

Mar 22, 2018

Simply delightful. Great characters and a bit of mystery and subtle sense of humor. Loved the musical references.

Mar 17, 2018

I loved reading this book. So Russian. Count Rostov is confined to the Metropole hotel for life in 1922 for being an aristocrat. History rolls by outside and Count Rostov learns to adapt inside. The words of his father inspire him - "One must either master one's circumstances or be mastered by them." Within the walls of the hotel and over the years he falls into despair, retreats from suicide, makes deep friendships, has engaging work that calls upon his talents, has a great love and also cares for a child who is the child of another child for whom he cared. The first child grows up in the hotel, explores with Rostov and leaves him with her pass key. She goes off to fight with the serious world outside of the hotel and only comes back to leave Rostov her daughter to care for. It is a ramble and wonderful to read.

Mar 14, 2018

Five stars doesn’t even begin to describe the wonderfulness of this book. I was enchanted from start to finish. Count Rostov, a member of the Russian elite, was sentenced to house arrest in a grand hotel. He was moved from his former sumptuous quarters to a cramped upper room and eventually became a waiter in the dining room he had frequented as a guest. Unexpectedly, he was asked to take care of a friend’s daughter for a short while. The “short while” turned in to the rest of his life. Through it all, he remained the epitome of a gentleman. He was kind and thoughtful to others and relished the moments and relationships that enriched his life (and too often pass unnoticed by those of us who have a wealth of them). He reminded me of Mr Pettigrew in Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. What an antidote to the self-absorption and hostility towards others so prevalent today.

Mar 13, 2018

If you have an interest in Russian history ; particularly around 1918 you will appreciate this historical fiction. Grounded in history from the personal perspective of a former Soviet elite who is exiled to house arrest in a prominent hotel, the reader is given insight into all levels of society during this tumultuous time. Highly recommended!

Feb 22, 2018

Not the book I thought it would be. Turns into a thriller at the end. Enjoyed it, though.

Jan 30, 2018

What a wonderful story. You must take a chance and read it.

Jan 25, 2018

It's a fairy tale, and I could not suspend disbelief quite enough to really buy into it -- so much expensive wine, for example. While the tale is implausible, it has its charm.

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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.

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