115 reviews

A Gentleman in Moscow

Published: 2017
Paperback : 462 pages
156 members reading this now
825 clubs reading this now
52 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 103 of 115 members
â??The book is like a salve.  I think the world feels disordered right now.  The countâ??s refinement and genteel nature are exactly what weâ??re longing for.â? â?? Ann Patchett

â??How delightful that in an era as crude as ours this finely composed novel stretches out with ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to


â??The book is like a salve.  I think the world feels disordered right now.  The countâ??s refinement and genteel nature are exactly what weâ??re longing for.â? â?? Ann Patchett

â??How delightful that in an era as crude as ours this finely composed novel stretches out with old-World elegance.â?Â â??The Washington Post

He canâ??t leave his hotel. You wonâ??t want to.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civilityâ??a 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 hotelâ??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 countâ??s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

â??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.â? â??The San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

1. Start with the Count. How would you describe him? Do you find him an appealing, even memorable character?

2. In what way does his gilded cage, his "prison" for decades, transform Count Rostov? How do you see him changing during the course of the novel? What incidents have the most profound effect on him? Consider the incident with the beehive and the honey.

3. The Metropol serves literally and symbolically as a window on the world. What picture does Amor Towles paint of the Soviet Union—the brutality, its Kafka-esque bureaucracy, and the fear it inspires among its citizens? What are the pressures, for instance, faced by those who both live in and visit the Metropol? Does Towles's dark portrait overwhelm the story's narrative?

4. Talk about Nina, who even Towles considers the Eloise of the Metropol. Nina helps the Count unlock the hotel (again, literally and symbolically), revealing a much richer place than the it first seemed. What do we, along with the Count, discover?

5. What might Casablanca be the Count's favorite film? What does it suggest about his situation?

6. Talk about the other characters, aside from Nina, who play an important part in this novel the handyman, the actress, his friend Mishka, and even Osip Glebnikov. Consider the incident with the honey.

7. The Count was imprisoned for writing the poem, "where is it now?", which questioned the purpose of the new Soviet Union. Care to make any comparisons now with Russia under Putin, 70-some years later?

From Litlovers.

Suggested by Members

The 7 questions most websites had for this book were woefully inadequate for the complexity and beauty of this book.
by carolkaskin (see profile) 01/20/18

Why did every chapter title begin with the letter “A”.
by jemathomp (see profile) 01/18/18

In Count Rostov's character, what aspect made his confinement a success?
by BOOKIEGIRL (see profile) 10/29/17

Discuss the incident of him hanging up the blouse that was on the floor, what motivated him and why was the woman so bothered by it.
by lederhosen (see profile) 07/11/17

How does the Count handle his excile like Robinson Corusoe or Napolean? Does he change how he handle excile in the book?
What are Russia's contributions to the west as described in the book? Do you think this is accurrate?
Would you like to stay at the Metropol in Moscow and if so what would you novel be about after the stay?
by jeandol62 (see profile) 06/23/17

Discuss the incident of the blouse on the floor and Anna's reaction to it being hung up.
by lederhosen (see profile) 05/03/17

One member discovered that each chapter began with a word that began with A. And many of the first sentences were alliterative.
by READS1 (see profile) 04/24/17

If you were in a similar situation,time period and had to choose very quickly the items to take to your room n the attic what would you take?
Did the count and Sophia reunite in the US or France at the end ?
by wpeery (see profile) 01/16/17

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by Tracy H. (see profile) 04/19/24

by Patricia M. (see profile) 03/12/24

by Laura J. (see profile) 02/24/24

This is one of my most favorite reads. The intrigue of the story line . The twist of the love story . The interesting lifestyle lived . All wrapped up in a wonderful read .

by Susan M. (see profile) 12/30/23

by haeyoung p. (see profile) 12/07/23

by Daina Z. (see profile) 11/14/23

by Julie S. (see profile) 11/13/23

by Dania K. (see profile) 09/26/23

by Joni M. (see profile) 07/29/23

by Judy W. (see profile) 07/28/23

Rate this book
Remember me

Now serving over 80,000 book clubs & ready to welcome yours. Join us and get the Top Book Club Picks of 2022 (so far).



Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...