A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

The Ghost Fields cover

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles has been popular with some of the blogs that I visit, but it was when my friend Christine mentioned that she was enjoying it I decided to give it a go too and I loved it. It was published in 2016.

It begins in Moscow in 1922 where Count Alexander Rostov is in the Kremlin being questioned. Surprisingly he survives the experience but is declared to be a non person and soldiers escort him back to the Metropol Hotel where he has been living in a luxurious suite. He has been sentenced to indefinite house arrest, so if he ever sets foot out of the hotel he will be shot.

He has to vacate his beautiful suite and move into an attic room not much bigger than a cupboard. You would think that a man who had been brought up to enjoy the best of everything in life would find this intolerable but Sasha manages to make a rich and full life for himself and ends up having close relationships with the hotel staff who have become like a family to him.

With the Metropol being a favourite hotel of those in positions of power in the Kremlin over the years Sasha has plenty of opportunities to observe them – something which becomes very useful to him subsequently.

Sasha is a great character and I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I’ll be reading the author’s other book Rules of Civility soon, but I can’t imagine I’ll like it as much as this one.

10 thoughts on “A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

  1. I read this one last summer and enjoyed it, especially his relationship with the little girl over the years. I found him to be an amusing, very interesting character. I loved the setting and the relationships with the staff and his friends and acquaintances.
    I, too, have not read Rules of Civility and I have had it on my Nook for years and still haven’t read it. Must do that–
    But you should have seen the incredible pile of books I purchased from Barnes and Noble, the nearest bookstore to me, which is 55 miles away. I had an appointment nearby, so it worked out.
    I’ve wanted to take a photo of the haul, but this weekend has been so dark–how amazing to think that this is supposed to be the most light-filled time of year.

    • Judith,
      It’s so bright here, it seems we’re getting your weather and you are getting ours! I can’t wait to hear about that book haul, it’s such a long way to go to your nearest bookshop, you definitely deserve to get a good haul.

  2. This does sound very good, I will put it on a list to look for. I would not have thought this would appeal to me, but reading your review, and going back and checking a post at Judith’s … I am convinced.

  3. I am on a road trip with my sister, and this is book she is currently listening to. She has shared several things with me that already have me very interested in reading it for myself. Your review and description only add to my interest.

    • Paula,
      I never listen to books, I have a nasty suspicion that my mind would wander off elsewhere instead of concentrating on listening. I hope you do give this one a go, I think you would like it.

      • My sister is thinking about reading it, too. It’s a little harder to catch all of the details when listening. I usually only listen to books that I have already read. That way if my mind wanders or I fall asleep, I don’t miss anything.

        • Paula,
          I think listening to a book would work for me if it was a favourite book that I had read before, if my mind wandered it would just be like dipping in and out of a book for the best bits I think.

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