Julie Christine's Reviews > A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
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it was amazing
bookshelves: best-of-2018, east-central-europe, historical-fiction, read-2018, war-conflict

Quick, name all the literary characters you’ve fallen in love with… Lizzy Bennet, Ponyboy Curtis, Atticus Finch, Harriet the Spy, Aragorn, Jo March… those are the first who come to my mind. Add to this list the unsinkably spirited Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, an erstwhile aristocrat who in 1922 is sentenced to house arrest in Moscow’s elegant Hotel Metropol. His crime is being a man of wealth and manners in Bolshevik Russia, where refinement is an affront to the state.

What luck for the Count not to have been tossed in the Moskva with a bullet in the brain, or sent to languish in Siberia to be worked to death by age forty. How fortunate for we, the readers, to be invited to witness decades of Russian history unfold in the dining rooms and bar, kitchen and ballroom, sumptuous suites and attic hideaways of a storied hotel across the street from the fearsome Kremlin.

I cried as I turned the final pages of A Gentleman in Moscow, cried with that exquisite, unnameable pain of finishing a magical read. Amor Towles presents a charming, mannered, witty tome with clever asides and rambling digressions like staircases to nowhere, but where I found these stylistic quirks almost unbearable in his debut, Rules of Civility (which is why I was so late coming to Moscow, until enough trusted readers convinced me to give this a go), here I was enchanted. I could feel the author smiling with delight and affection for his own creation, and not out of arrogance, but out of sheer wonder at these characters who emerge from the woodwork to take up residency in the heart.

There are heaps of reviews here and in the trades to take you through the plot. Let mine assure you that it's a journey you will be so very glad to have made and so very sad to see come to an end. A Gentleman in Moscow will without a doubt be one of my top reads of 2018.

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Reading Progress

January 19, 2018 – Shelved
January 19, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
March 6, 2018 – Started Reading
March 9, 2018 –
page 109
23.59% "It took a couple of days to find my way in this book, but now I’m hooked... TGIF!"
March 10, 2018 –
page 147
31.82% "Oh, the wine cellar! My heart broke a little..."
March 12, 2018 –
page 248
53.68% "“She tilted her head like a raven.” Ahh - the bliss of a beautiful sentence..."
March 14, 2018 – Shelved as: best-of-2018
March 14, 2018 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
March 14, 2018 – Shelved as: east-central-europe
March 14, 2018 – Shelved as: war-conflict
March 14, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
March 14, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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Antoinette My next book for my bookclub! The anticipation is killing me.


Angela M After that , I really can’t to read your review. I fell in love with the Count !


Julie Christine Antoinette wrote: "My next book for my bookclub! The anticipation is killing me." SO GOOD!! And I think it will make for a great bookclub read.


Julie Christine Angela M wrote: "After that , I really can’t to read your review. I fell in love with the Count !" oh me, too. Such a crush.


Annagrace K. Exactly!


Renata Welcome to the club!


message 7: by Maureen (new)

Maureen I knew you
would love it!


Dede Try to catch an author interview online or better yet, in person. Towles seems like a modern version of the Count to me. I saw him speak about this book in Colorado.


message 9: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Patetta Yes, we loved seeing and hearing him in person in Sanibel earlier this year. What a FABULOUS READ!


message 10: by Will (last edited Mar 23, 2018 08:04PM) (new) - added it

Will Ansbacher Enticing review Julie, ... it seems to be a 5-star for everyone; going on my TBR list!
But this is strange, too: I originally thought this book was quite old, referring to one about the Cambridge spies, but I couldn't track down that other title.


Suzanne Julie, this is such a moving & eloquent review. You’ve gone deep & I really enjoyed it. Incidentally, this just became available to me on Overdrive. Now I’m excited!


Carmen Great review! Wonderful book!


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