A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

Book - 2016
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"In all ways a great novel, a nonstop pleasure brimming with charm, personal wisdom, and philosophic insight.this book more than fulfills the promise of Towles' stylish debut, Rules of Civility." - Kirkus Reviews (starred) 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Viking, [2016]
ISBN: 9780670026197
Characteristics: 462 pages : map ; 24 cm
Call Number: TOWLES, A


From Library Staff

List - Inklings Book Club
DCLbookclubs Dec 07, 2016

Discussed at the November 2018 book club

List - Daytime Book Group
DCLbookclubs Sep 14, 2016

This title was discussed February 6, 2018.

List - Readers' Roost
DCLbookclubs Oct 24, 2016

The book club will discuss this title on December 6, 2018.

DCLadults Aug 09, 2018

I was swept away by the beautiful writing and fascinating characters in "A Gentleman in Moscow." This is the story of a Russian aristocrat living under house arrest in a luxury hotel. Kenneth Branagh will star in and produce the TV adaptation. Don't wait to watch it, read it first!

bookloverjane Dec 28, 2017

A wonderful read - great characters, interesting situations, against the background of Russian history.

From the critics

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May 10, 2019

Lengthy but a tapestry of a political prisoner held captive in a grand hotel for 30+ years.
Rich in characterization with a delightful ending.

May 04, 2019

I heard about this book and tried it but then set it aside when I didn't get back to it before the due date. Finally decided to try again and oh my gosh I'm glad I did. I've been reading so many books by women with women main characters that I wondered how I'd fair with this but I absolutely loved it. It's a winning story of a former aristocrat confined to a luxury hotel in Moscow from not long after the revolution up to the cold war. I was delighted to find out the hotel in the story is real. One of my favorite books of the year

May 03, 2019

recommended by Dorothy

Apr 29, 2019

Loved it

Apr 03, 2019

Exceptional writing style and use of fully developed and complex characters to describe the effects of the Russian revolution on a minor aristocrat and the staff at a posh and exclusive Moscow hotel. He is placed under house arrest, stripped of all his materials goods and forced to live in a small attic apartment within the hotel. While maintaining his personal integrity and showing outwardly respect for those who are now in charge of Moscow, Count Rostov, integrates himself into the hotel’s staff’s lives and the hotel’s daily and behind the scene operations and helps protect its grandeur.

Apr 01, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It seemed a little slow at first but then it kept surprising me. Like a fine meal or wine, it is to be savored. When I was done, I wanted to read it again.

Mar 25, 2019

This is one of the best books I have read in a while. A unique story, beautiful language, compelling characters, quiet wit. It was a delight to immerse myself in it.

Feb 27, 2019

Love this book! Beautifully written.

Feb 25, 2019

You know you’ve been thrown back in time by almost a century through the ‘Downton Abbey-esque’ manners of the day, despite the Russian setting. The gentleman protagonist, Rostov, is absolutely charming – witty, honorable, intelligent, optimistic – throughout his 30+ years of house arrest in a posh Russian hotel.
I was grateful for several life philosophy nuggets, poignant wisdom on how to live life to its fullest, that Towles wove into the storyline through his highly engaging cast of characters. Believable people. I enjoyed Towles’ elevating choice of diction; the droll tone of his artful expression; the occasional antics amongst the characters. This book has grace!
A favourite quote: "Human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration – and our determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged them in every possible setting at every possible hour.”

Feb 16, 2019

Cathy Clark highly recommended

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Jun 05, 2018

“…if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.” - p. 18

Jun 05, 2018

“Manners are not like bonbons, Nina. You may not choose the ones that suit you best; and you certainly cannot put the half-bitten ones back in the box. . . .” - p. 52

Jun 05, 2018

“Here, indeed, was a formidable sentence--one that was on intimate terms with a comma, and that held the period in healthy disregard.” - p. 68

Jun 05, 2018

“It is a sad but unavoidable fact of life," he began, "that as we age our social circles grow smaller. Whether from increased habit or diminished vigor, we suddenly find ourselves in the company of just a few familiar faces.” - p. 94

Jun 05, 2018

“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.” - pp. 120-121

Jun 05, 2018

“Showing a sense of personal restraint that was almost out of character, the Count had restricted himself to two succinct pieces of parental advice. The first was that if one did not master one’s circumstances, one was bound to be mastered by them; and the second was Montaigne’s maxim that the surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness.” - p. 419


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Mar 14, 2018

The author shows insight into the customs. language, and values of his characters and their time. In just a few words he makes the reader picture the scene and often leaves gaps of years, leaving an explanation of what happened during this time for later in the story. A book that I couldn't put down.


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