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A Gentleman in Moscow

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4.35  ·  Rating details ·  274,328 ratings  ·  33,867 reviews
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

With his breakout debut novel, Rules of Civility, Amor Towles established himself as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction, bringing late 1930s Manhattan to life with splendid atmosphere and a flawless com
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Hardcover, 462 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Viking
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  274,328 ratings  ·  33,867 reviews


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chai ♡
find this review & others on my blog

It’s always a shock, after you finish a particularly good book, to look up and see the world go about its business with perfect indifference. I struggle for language to adequately express the feeling that came over me then; one which emitted, it seemed, its own gravity, holding me in place. The trance of being so immersed in my reading wrapped me in its cold, tingling embrace, so that when I turned the last page, I was almost astonished and stepped for
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Elyse  Walters
Tears were streaming down my face the last several pages. Turning each page slower - and slower - breathless - filled with gratitude- overwhelmed by what this rare book offers and then delivering a wonderful satisfying ending......to the already - rich- wonderful-absolutely marvelous novel.

Goose bumps and butterfly fluttering.....the writing is pulsing with life. Amor Towles's
leading man...."Count Rostov" ....[Alexander Ilyich Rostov]....or "Sasha", to a select few old friends, is THE MOST EXCE
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Jeffrey Keeten
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-russians
Vyshinsky: Why did you write the poem?

Rosov: It demanded to be written. I simply happened to be sitting at the particular desk on the particular morning when it chose to make its demands.

Vyshinksy: And where was that exactly?

Rostov: In the south parlor at Idlehour.

Vyshinksy: Idlehour?

Rosov: The Rostov estate in Nizhny Novgorod.

Vyshinksy: Ah, yes. Of course. How apt. But let us return our attention to your poem. Coming as it did-in the more subdued years after the failed revolt of 1905--many cons
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Bill Gates
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Melinda and I sometimes read the same book at the same time. It’s usually a lot of fun, but it can get us in trouble when one of us is further along than the other—which recently happened when we were both reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.

At one point, I got teary-eyed because one of the characters gets hurt and must go to the hospital. Melinda was a couple chapters behind me. When she saw me crying, she became worried that a character she loved was going to die. I didn’t want to spo
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Jen
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to savour this one, word for word. Towles bestows on us a language to be treasured; a story to be remembered.
This was a remarkably enchanting narrative with a charming character. A gentleman, Rostov, has been put under hotel arrest. For the next several years, as he serves his time, relationships are cultivated from employees to guests to the visitors he receives and to a young girl whom he becomes a guardian for.
Very descriptive - I tasted almost every meal he ate - from the crisp and
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Brina
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In the year 1922, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov has been sentenced to House arrest at the famed Moscow Hotel Metropol. Once of the landed elite of Nizhy Novgorod, the Count must live out the rest of his days in one small hotel room. As the Bolsheviks have persevered following their revolution, no long are there ruling classes in Russia, only comrades. It is under these conditions that Count Rostov has become a former person who can no longer step outside of the Metropol. Using this premise, Amor ...more
Candace
'A Gentleman in Moscow' tells the story of Count Alexander Rostov, who is sentenced to live out the rest of his life on "house arrest" in the Metropol hotel, following his "conviction" by a Bolshevik tribunal. He was convicted of being an unrepentant aristocrat and is stripped of his wealth by the new Bolshevik regime. From one of the hotel's most prestigious guests, to a member of the wait staff, Count Rostov manages his fall from grace with poise and dignity.

This book provided beautiful imager
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Adina
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Later Edit: I thought about deleting my confession because I received a few complains saying I got too personal. Most of my reviews are a bit but maybe a went too far with this one. However, I thought better and the review stays because i want it to be a warning that this social platform, which should be a place to share our opinion of books with each other in a friendly manner sometimes becomes a stress factor. There is a pressure to like some books because everybody does and you don't want to ...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5+ The Hotel Metropol in Moscow, within sight of the Kremlin, will see much in the coming years. It will also become the home and prison of the former person known as the Count Alexander Rostov. Sentenced by a Bolshevk Tribunal,he is confined for life in this Hotel. Summarily taken from the suite he had inhabited for four years, he is brought to the attic and given one of the storage rooms as his new home.

One of the most wonderful and memorable characters one is fortunate to make the acquaintanc
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Kevin Ansbro
"A gentleman can live through anything."
—Oscar Wilde

Reawakening my childhood memories of The Count of Monte Cristo, Amor Towles delivers a sprawling, chucklesome novel of aristocratic derring-do.
The Bolsheviks have seized power in Mother Russia and Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is placed under house arrest at Moscow's Hotel Metropol. A nobleman of impeccable manners, Rostov is billeted in an austere attic room with barely enough space to swing a Cossack, but nevertheless never allows his hig
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Rick Riordan
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure why I picked up this book. It just sort of found its way into my hands. A historical novel set in Moscow from 1918 through the 1950s, it follows Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, a cultured and well-educated Russian nobleman who rushes back to his country in the early days of the Revolution, only to narrowly escape the firing squad and get sentenced to life imprisonment within his hotel, the Metropol. He is given this small mercy only because he once wrote a poem that some Bolsheviks c ...more
Maureen
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just across the square from the Kremlin, is the Metropol Hotel, where Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov has a suite of rooms, but in 1922 he is sentenced to house arrest in that very hotel, and banished to a small attic room. His crime? He was found guilty of being the author of seditious poetry. Other than that, I'm not giving anything away.

I've found it difficult to review this one - how do you convey how it really made you feel deep down when it's left such a wonderful impression. On setting asid
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Karen
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read others reviews of this book for I cannot do it justice, but I will say I just loved it, loved the Count and his interactions with everyone, especially Nina, and later Sophia. So many times this gentleman had me laugh out loud. I would have loved to have met him!
Angela M
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I wanted to read this because of the wonderful story that Towles gave us in Rules of Civility, that wonderful sense of time and place - New York in the 1930's. This is a different story, but what is the same is the brilliant story telling, the amazing sense of time and place. This time we see Moscow starting in 1922 snd spanning 30 years, through the eyes of Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov and we get a window view of what is happening in Moscow, in Russia, in the world. It is literally a window vi
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Chrissie
When everybody raves about a book, and then I don't care for it much, well I feel kind of depressed.

I will explain my reaction. Much depends on what you are looking for. First and foremost this is a novel, a fairy tale, a fantastical story. A mystery, suspense and the question is: will all turn out well? Will good win over evil? I prefer books that are gritty, depressing even sad, as long as they are realistic.

There are lots of historical tidbits and curios to pique the reader's interest. Litera
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BlackOxford
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american, slavic
How To Be Charming

An old saw, from some unknown source buried in my sub-conscious, has it that ‘Charm is that personal characteristic which generates the response ‘Yes’ before a request is even made.’ Towles’s Count Rostov is the epitome of a man with this kind of charm. Rostov even charms the KGB into letting him live, in reduced but habitable circumstances, within the confines of the best hotel in Moscow. From there he continues for decades to charm the staff, the guests, and the wider world o
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Larry H
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This really was a special book, one which at times felt almost magical.

Count Alexander Rostov was always a man who enjoyed the finer things in life. He was always nattily dressed, participating in intelligent conversation, enjoying fine food and drink, and the company of erudite and beautiful people. Rostov lived in grand fashion in Moscow's Hotel Metropol, a hotel just across the street from the Kremlin, and he thrived on being a part of the buzz that passed through its doors and around its bus
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Debra
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Masterpiece!

This book was so good. Words such as wonderful and beautiful come to mind. The writing was simply wonderful. The story was beautiful. This book almost dripped with elegance. This book is not to be rushed. Do not read this book fast. Like a good glass of wine, this book should be savored and enjoyed slowly.

Count Alexander Rostov is deemed to be a unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal in 1922. He is sentenced to house arrest at the Metropol Hotel, a hotel across the street f
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Peter
Distinction
Every now and again, along comes an outstanding novel that hits every aspect of what a great book should be. A Gentleman in Moscow is epic in its ambition, enthralling in its storytelling, entertaining in its humour and eloquent in its prose. The story is set amongst the socially chaotic birth of communist Russia, yet celebrates the dominion of the individual. Amor Towles opens the novel on 21 June 1922, with the Count being tried in front of the Emergency Committee of the People’s Co
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Candi
"… the Count hadn’t the temperament for revenge; he hadn’t the imagination for epics; and he certainly hadn’t the fanciful ego to dream of empires restored. No. His model for mastering his circumstances would be a different sort of captive altogether: an Anglican washed ashore. Like Robinson Crusoe stranded on the Isle of Despair, the Count would maintain his resolve by committing to the business of practicalities. Having dispensed with dreams of quick discovery, the world’s Crusoes seek shelter ...more
Cathrine ☯️
5 🍾🍾🍾🍾🍾 s
If you are overly committed with reading challenges and attempting to plow through many books in a certain amount of time this is one to save and savor after you calm down. You will want to apply your A-game reading skills to the pages or much delight could be missed.
Amor Towles is an aristocrat of an author to my working class cognitive skills and this certainly made me want to be a better reader (not to mention reviewer). Allow me the use of wine as a helpmate.

“A complete wine is bala
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jessica
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
this story is everything a gentleman strives to be - charming, sophisticated, witty, and intelligent. but also not without flaws. the elegant writing and characterisation are the saving graces for this book, as not a lot happens plot-wise (difficult to do when the main character is confined to a hotel). but it does provide an entertaining glimpse into the life of a gentleman and what it means to rise above your circumstances. a very recommendable book.

4 stars
Phrynne
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book. This one will almost certainly be in my top five reads for 2017. It was perfect.

Count Alexander Rostov is one of those characters who lives on long after you have finished the book. Imagine being confined to one hotel for thirty years of your life, never able to even step outside its doors. Yet Rostov not only does not give up, he actually makes a wonderful life for himself and enjoys every day. I loved him for his kindness, his optimism, his practicality and eventually fo
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Erik
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best book I've read over the last decade. Magical, in fact.
Luffy
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn't know how to review this book. I think the style of the writing, with its miniature microcosm approach was 90% the reason why I gave A Gentleman in Moscow 5 stars.

If you want a glimpse proper into the ramifications of the Great War then I urge you to read the non-fiction books, some of which are excellent.

The bolshevik revolution is just a backdrop in this story. The ease, education, class, and silence of the main character was a delight to read. I think it's not fine literature. I wou
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Tina Haigler
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"At half past six on the twenty-first of June 1922, when Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov was escorted through the gates of the Kremlin onto Red Square, it was glorious and cool."

If I could give this more stars, I would. I loved every second of this book. There are only two books in my adult life that have moved me beyond what I thought possible from beginning to end: A Man Called Ove and A Gentleman in Moscow. I can not possibly express the level of emotions I felt while reading this. The words si
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Lori
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I guess charm is like humor. The same material doesn't work for everyone. There are parts of this book that I enjoyed, but I wasn't charmed.

It reminded most of a children's story about playing in an old house on a rainy day when you can't go outside. Complete with a woman to scold for the damage that you did to your clothes while playing. His friends seemed as much imagined as real.

I was grateful that he grew up in the course the book. But, it's still much a fairytale about an aristocrat in the
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Michael
This beguiling book achieves for me what I tend to seek in all literature, a roadmap of how to live life. The story of Count Alexander Rostov living his life in Moscow’s Metropol Hotel after being sentenced by the Bolsheviks to house arrest in the early 20’s was delightful and charming. He shows us how to adapt to misfortune and strive to bring out the best in people. He reveals for us how to be a true aesthete, one who discerns the beauty in the smallest things around us, appreciates the wonder ...more
Dem
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian-history
First I have to to admit I had not intended to read this book as I had decided some time ago after reading a Goodread friends 5 star review and realising all the elements of the story that she loved were going to be the reasons I might not enjoy it as much. But a real life friend bought me a copy of this for Christmas and I really felt obliged to read it as she had enjoyed it so much and I knew we would discuss it at some stage.

The Novel is charming and beautifully written but I wanted more of
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Dianne
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2016
A charming, sophisticated and deeply moving book - it took me a really long time to read because it required my utmost concentration. Attention must be paid to the characters, the literary and artistic references, the history of Russia and the intelligent and witty dialogue. I loved the book and oh, how I loved Count Rostov! He is the very definition of the word "gentleman."

I encourage you to set aside the time to read this elegant novel thoroughly and let it sink into your heart and bones. My o
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Ultimate Popsugar...: July Group Read Discussion: A Gentleman in Moscow 37 161 Aug 05, 2020 06:16PM  
Hotels in fiction 1 2 Jul 25, 2020 08:27AM  
The Ending: ONLY if you've read the book (spoilers) 44 10898 Jul 17, 2020 09:12AM  
HUBSTER: A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW BOOK II 6 8 Jul 16, 2020 07:11PM  

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Born and raised in the Boston area, Amor Towles graduated from Yale College and received an MA in English from Stanford University. Having worked as an investment professional in Manhattan for over twenty years, he now devotes himself fulltime to writing. His first novel, Rules of Civility, published in 2011, was a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback and was ranked by the Wal ...more

Articles featuring this book

  Tech pioneer, co-founder of Microsoft, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and author Bill Gates is an avid reader who has ...
665 likes · 163 comments
“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.” 455 likes
“if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.” 413 likes
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