Historical Fiction

A Gentleman in Moscow

by Amor Towles

Quick take

This book's pleasures are in the details. It is layered with delicious, minute observation, so that you never want to skip over passages.

Why I love it

I am a lover of 19th century Russian literature, which so often fused French glamour with the harsh reality of Siberian-style winters and encroaching revolution. You felt the warm glow of the gas lantern, the luxurious texture of the ball gown, the sting of the cold night air as the horse-drawn carriage carried weary passengers home in the wee hours, after the ball, and the call of history, and w...


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...

Member thoughts

74% Love
20% Like
5% Dislike
  • John L.

    New York, NY

    "Amor Towles is an amazing writer!"



    "History explained through the stylish voice of an aristocrat with a passion for living...in a hotel for the rest of his life."

  • Karin N.

    Chicago, IL

    "My favorite book from BOTM to date. The Count, and all the characters, just come to life. It was a terrific world to escape to, sad yet joyful in many ways. Just beautiful."

  • Yifei M.

    San Mateo, CA

    "Lavish novel, beautiful setting, precise plot that keeps moving until the last page."

  • Sarah B.

    Roeland Park, KS

    "Definitely a slow burn, but worth it in the end. I loved getting to know these characters."

  • Micheline H.

    Montrose, CO

    "This books is like having a 5-star meal with an excellent wine. I am taking my time to savor every sentence and to enjoy all the mini adventures that can happen when one is sequestered in a hotel."

  • Bill R.

    Groveland, FL

    "One of the best books I have read in years. Great characters, plot, and writing. A treasure."

  • Rylan and Julianna B.

    Phoenix, AZ

    "This book is everything you could possibly want: Russian, humorous, insightful, poignant, and poetic. Complete with footnotes!"

  • Nellie C.

    Jackson Heights, NY

    "One of my favorite books of 2016. "

  • Anna K.

    Brooklyn, NY

    "Made me love humanity again. "

  • Annette J.

    Petersburg, VA

    "An excellent novel with an unusual plot: an aristocratic gentleman must spend his life in a Moscow hotel on pain of death if he leaves. Well researched and well written! It is a spell binder."