Charming from start to finish, A Gentleman in Moscow, Towles’s story of a Russian aristocrat sentenced by the Bolsheviks to a lifetime of house arrest in the Metropol Hotel, is witty, philosophical, and subtly political. The almost insuppressible Count Rostov spends his captivity reading, forging deep and diverse friendships with the hotel’s staff and patrons, serving as head waiter in its famous Boyarsky restaurant, and even raising Sofia, the orphaned daughter of an old friend. Through Rostov’s keen observations, Towles’s novel relays the shifting currents of Soviet Russia, its tragedies and successes, with all of the solicitousness, elegance, and charisma of the captivating gentleman at its center. Recommended By Rhianna W., Powells.com
Yes, everything you've heard about A Gentleman in Moscow is true; if I had my way, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov would be my dad. Beginning in 1922, Towles tells the story of a Russian count under house arrest in the Moscow Metropol Hotel, and follows his charmed (yes, really!) life for the next 30 years. The Count is an extraordinary fellow, with charisma, smarts, and kindness in excess, and it's pretty hard not to fall in love with him. He becomes the head waiter at the hotel, he makes lifelong friendships, he matches wits with the greatest (and most feeble) minds of the time, and does a little intrigue on the side. He teaches us that home is where you make it and family comes in the most surprising of configurations. This is just a delightful book that delivers a wonderful character study, a thrilling ending, and a giant warm spot to your heart. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
In 1922 Moscow, Count Alexander Rostov is declared a non-person and sentenced to live his remaining days in the Hotel Metropol — or he will be shot by the Red Guard. Rostov's banishment includes moving from his grand suite to a remote attic room. Nevertheless, Rostov is undaunted, and life in the elegant Metropol provides him friendships, love, and purpose. His adventures in confinement are comic, enchanting, and heartwarming even as the ever-present threat of the Soviet state lingers over the inhabitants of the hotel. Rostov observes that other countries exile their citizens to other places, but Russia exiles its people to Russia. Amor Towles has written a tragic comedy of gentle power; it’s charming, harrowing, and ultimately triumphant. I was sorry to leave Hotel Metropol. Recommended By Kathi K., Powells.com
I am in LOVE with A Gentleman in Moscow! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book! Allow the magic of Amor Towles to transport you to Count Rostov's rich and vibrant world at the Metropol Hotel. Charming and elegant, bringing so many smiles to my lips and some tears to my eyes, I was delighted from cover to cover. And you will be too! Recommended By Adrienne C., Powells.com
Synopses & 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 command of style. Readers and critics were enchanted; as NPR commented, "Towles writes with grace and verve about the mores and manners of a society on the cusp of radical change."
A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count 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 a doorway 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.
"House arrest has never been so charming as in Towles’s second novel, an engaging 30-year saga set almost entirely inside the Metropol, Moscow’s most luxurious hotel. . .empathetic, and entertaining." Publishers Weekly
"In his remarkable first novel, the bestselling Rules of Civility, Towles etched 1930s New York in crystalline relief...His latest polished literary foray into a bygone era is just as impressive...an imaginative and unforgettable historical portrait." ALA Booklist
"In all ways a great novel, a nonstop pleasure brimming with charm, personal wisdom, and philosophic insight...This is a book in which the cruelties of the age can’t begin to erase the glories of real human connection and the memories it leaves behind. A masterly encapsulation of modern Russian history, this book more than fulfills the promise of Towles' stylish debut, Rules of Civility." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"The book moves briskly from one crisp scene to the next, and ultimately casts a spell as captivating as Rules of Civility, a book that inhales you into its seductively Gatsby-esque universe." Town & Country
About the Author
Amor Towles was born and raised just outside Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale University and received an MA in English from Stanford University, where he was a Scowcroft Fellow. After working more than twenty years as an investment professional, Towles now writes full time. He is also the author of the novella Eve in Hollywood, available as an e-book. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children.