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A Gentleman in Moscow

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4.34  ·  Rating details ·  448,473 ratings  ·  50,189 reviews
On 21 June 1922 Count Alexander Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt – is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol.

But instead of being taken to his usual suite, he is led to an attic room with a window the size of a chessboard. Deemed an unrepentan
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Paperback, 462 pages
Published November 2nd 2017 by Windmill Books (first published September 6th 2016)
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Average rating 4.34  · 
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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  ·  review of another edition
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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chai ♡
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, while you sit there, feeling that something has shifted, moved, broken open inside you. This is how I felt when I turned the last page of A Gentleman in Moscow, emerging from my trance of reading with a sense of complete unreality. Like I couldn’t remember being in the room, the way one might feel when they're driving home and suddenly find one's self in f ...more
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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Yun
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Adversity presents itself in many forms . . . if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.
Every once in a while, I come across a book that speaks to the heart of who I am, as though it's been written specifically for me. That's how I feel about A Gentleman in Moscow.

Count Rostov has been sentenced to house arrest in the grand Metropol Hotel in Moscow. We follow him as he tries to make a life of purpose for himself within this small world. Instead of wit
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Jen
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
***UPDATE: Ewen MacGregor to star in this epic series****

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
...more
Brina
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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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Diane S ☔
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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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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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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Peter (on semi hiatus and trying to catch up)
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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BlackOxford
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: slavic, american
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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Karen
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
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. ...more
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
Debra
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Dr. Appu Sasidharan
This is one of the most challenging reviews I have ever written. There was a tug of war between my rational mind and emotional mind when I read this book.


My rational mind was too logical and was not ready to accept Count Alexander Rostov’s tryst with actresses and his culinary escapades like a connoisseur when the world was burning outside due to the world war. But my emotional mind was simply blown away by the philosophical brilliance. I finished this book a month ago. I thought about it a
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Angela M (On a little break)

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
...more
Phrynne
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 f
...more
Cecily
I’ve enjoyed other books where the captivating and seemingly effortless storytelling is actually carefully and comprehensively crafted.
I’ve loved other charming and clever heroes who seem almost too good to be true.
I’ve read other books that are hugely enjoyable and also have great literary merit.
But I rarely encounter one volume that combines them all.
This is such a book.

The telling

The story is long in time and small in place: a road movie without a road. In 1922, Count Rostov is put on tria
...more
Larry H
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Margaret M - semi hiatus  (With lots of catching up to do)
A glorious 5 stars for this literary feast and applause for a favourite life quote “...what matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim.”

A Gentleman in Moscow is a story of a gentleman’s life that is changed beyond recognition, as he is sentenced to house arrest but nevertheless a life saved courtesy of a revolutionary poem. And a story set in Russia after the Bolshevik revolution a
...more
Nataliya
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
To appreciate this story you need to be able to immerse yourself into a leisurely languorous extolling of the virtues of finer things in life.

Alas, I cannot. I’m a cheap non-gourmand simple person who prefers practicality to nostalgia and will pick a good deal in Best Western over wallet-lightening Metropol Hotel in an eyeblink.
When I was a kid, I read a fiction book about inner workings of a 1950s New Orleans hotel - with the no-nonsense practicality named Hotel by Arthur Hailey. It was dry and
...more
carol.
2020 Update: I've never empathized more with the idea of living life within the confines of a single building.

Ultimately, I am reminded of an elaborate, beautiful confection, perhaps this Spanische Windtorte:

description
From The Great British Bakeoff, Season 2



Elaborately constructed, lovely, sweet, best enjoyed at a particular moment, not preserved at a later date.

Similarly, A Gentleman in Moscow is filled with lovely writing about a Russian noble, pre-Revolution, who is sentenced to ‘house’-arrest in a fa
...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
...more
Tina Haigler
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 j
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EVERYONE Has Read...: A Gentleman in Moscow - *SPOILERS* 34 299 Nov 19, 2022 10:52AM  
EVERYONE Has Read...: A Gentleman in Moscow - PRE-READ 34 348 Oct 10, 2022 07:14AM  
The Humble Bumble...: BOOK OF THE MONTH [SEP-2022] - "A Gentleman in Moscow" 2 3 Sep 30, 2022 07:01AM  
What happened to Nina 1 30 Sep 08, 2022 06:09AM  
Play Book Tag: [+WPF] A Gentleman in Moscow / Amor Towles. 2.25 stars 16 30 Aug 30, 2022 11:55PM  
How do we interpret the ending? 2 61 Aug 08, 2022 08:17PM  

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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

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“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.” 693 likes
“if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.” 617 likes
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