Title: Gentleman in Moscow, A
Authors: Towles, Amor
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 462
Year: 2016
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Language: English
Description: If indefinite house arrest was to be your fate then Moscow's luxurious Hotel Metropol was an ideal venue. However, instead of his usual suite, Count Alexander Rostov is reduced to living in an attic room, courtesy of the Bolsheviks as punishment for being an aristocrat. In the decades that follow his 1922 sentence, he strives to rise above his circumstances and master them. Along for the journey are a collection of colourful characters, fellow wayfarers cast on the safe shores of the Hotel Metropol, a welcome refuge from the upheaval of the Russian Revolution unfolding outside its doors.

Entertaining and stylish, this is a story shaped by the indomitable spirit of an unrepentant aristocrat, rich with philosophical insights and carefully woven with modern Russian history. [small font]
Categories: Fiction, Historical, Political, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, Russia, 2019 Titles


[Please log in to write a review]
By: WANAK 008 2020-03-11 09:01:14
Most of our group found the book a bit difficult to get started - a word of encouragement to persevere on our Whats App group kept all but one going and the final consensus was that everyone loved it - the history, the characters, the relationships were all so subtly but beautifully drawn and the ending was deeply satisfying. Highly recommended.

By: WINT 001 2020-02-29 10:47:07
Everyone loved this book, not only for the way it was written but also a look into a period of Russian history that is not always well known to us. Those who had read the classic Russian novels enjoyed the referencing to them during the story. The discussion lead to more than the questions written. Some time was focused on how the early discipline in his life enabled him to cope with and ultimately benefit from being under "house arrest". Highly recommended.

By: COOKS 001 2020-02-20 23:05:42
What an amazing read, everyone loved it. A wonderful narrative with great complexity, skipping over sentences wasn't an option as you felt you were going to miss out on something that would be relevant later in the story. The characters are vibrant and the story line is well paced in spite of it being set in a hotel over many years. Towles has subtly woven Russian history (1922 to 1950's) into this novel which adds to its depth. We all agreed that it's a very elegantly written book, worth buying to have in your collection. A great start for 2020 reading!

By: AUCK 335 2019-11-21 14:32:22
Our group loved this book.Truly original, very cleverly constructed, memorable characters,set in a very interesting period of history, written with a lightness of spirit in spite of many dark shadows and some sad events.We thought it was very well-written and altogether a first rate read.

By: CHCH 487 2019-11-11 17:11:01
Our group loved this book — all rating it either four or five stars (hence our four and a half star rating). The author writes beautifully and brings the witty Count of a bygone era to life effortlessly. We discussed the political parallels that could be drawn between the Russian Revolution and current events like Brexit and 2016 US election and how the various characters embodied different political ideals. Most captivating though is the way the Count's interior life develops: the love, friendship and losses — and the pursuit of meaning in a world that inevitably moves on.

By: WELL 041 2019-08-12 11:06:23
A simply beautiful book to read. So elegant, sweeping through the years with humour, wonderful characters; we were all swept away and found it hard to put down. Highly recommended.

By: NELS 040 2019-08-12 11:03:40
A delightful book. A winner with our group. Everyone loved it.

By: WELL 142 2019-08-12 11:02:59
A very good meeting. The hostess provided a Russian afternoon tea, as well as leading a very good discussion. Not all had enjoyed the book, but found the discussion helpful in showing them aspects of the book which they had not recognised before.

By: QUEEN 003 2019-05-08 10:10:20
We loved this book. The word pictures brought the story to life. Count Rostov's ability to have and keep good loyal friends gave reading this book a warm feeling.

By: AUCK 143 2019-05-08 09:13:57
We all loved this delightfully elegant and humorous tale. 2 of us are keen to read it again. The author's language was admired as was his vivid characterisation, particularly the charming Count, and the intricately woven historical content throughout. The book sparked wide ranging discussion.

By: MAST 008 2019-05-03 12:28:26
This book generated a great discussion of a very turbulent time in Russian and world history. Beautifully written, wonderful prose, thoroughly entertaining and we would definitely recommend.

By: WELL 094 2019-05-03 12:25:29
This book combined the personal and political, and was clever and uplifting. Beautiful writing. Funny. Quirky. We loved the characters (including the narrator) and their differing views. The two girls played an important part - refreshing and uplifting...

By: AUCK 039 2019-04-26 11:36:19
Very well drawn characters. want to go back and read again. Unskippable.

By: DIAM 001 2019-04-26 09:59:57
Extremely well written. A descriptive portrayal of a bygone era. Some found that the obsession with detail was irritating. Summed up by the Washington Post, "It's predicated on the kind of moral discipline that never goes out of style".

The Book Discussion 
Scheme is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations in Aotearoa New Zealand
BDS is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations