A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles

Staff Pick

With The Rules of Civility, his acclaimed debut novel of 1930s New York, Amor Towles set new standards for elegant prose, wit, and nuanced depiction of class and character. In his second novel this impeccable stylist covers Soviet Russia from the 1920s to the 1950s—but history isn’t really his focus here. Rather, long beguiled by Moscow’s grand Hotel Metropol, Towles wondered what it would be like to live amid such glamor all the time; he dreamt up A Gentleman in Moscow (Viking, $27) to find out. The eponymous figure--perhaps the last of his kind—is Count Alexander Rostov. Truly an “unrepentant aristocrat,” Rostov faces down the Bolsheviks with fine manners and social graces. This personal code of conduct sees him through when he becomes a Former Person in 1922 and is sentenced to indefinite house arrest in the Metropol, where he adapts his impeccable manners to his new position as headwaiter, tutors Soviet apparatchiks in French, and identifies as G-sharp the creak of the mattress springs in the tiny attic room he occupies for thirty-two years. In this shimmering story of graciousness under pressure, both Rostov and the Hotel retain their dignity throughout the Soviet era, rising above the period’s privations, repressions, and dreaded midnight knocks at the door.

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel By Amor Towles Cover Image
ISBN: 9780670026197
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - September 6th, 2016