Rules of Civility, Mr. Towles first novel, was set in New York in 1938. A Gentleman in Moscow is set in Russia at the beginning of the revolution. Count Alexander Rostov is placed under house arrest at the Metropol Hotel in 1922 for merely being a part of the royal family. Banished from his luxurious suite to an attic room, this 30 year saga, set mostly in the hotel, plays out. The Count is an intelligent and educated man who is an expert on food and wine. He finds love, friendship and an ability to nurture a lovely child. With the most tumultuous decades of Russian history unfolding outside the hotel, the Count finds a rich emotional life with the other people he associates with inside the hotel. The story is filled with humor and we watch as Alexander learns how to be a man of purpose.— Nancy Usiak
September 2016 Indie Next List
“Through Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov's ordinary encounters and activities within the bounds of the four walls of post-revolutionary Moscow's Metropol Hotel, where he is under house arrest, Towles deftly guides readers across a century of Russian history, from the Bolshevik uprising to the dawn of the nuclear age under Krushchev. Grandiloquent language and drama reminiscent of Tolstoy gradually give way to action and tradecraft suggestive of le Carre in this lovely and entertaining tale of one man's determination to maintain his dignity and passion for life, even after being stripped of his title, belongings, and freedom. Reading A Gentleman in Moscow is pure pleasure!”
— Becky Dayton, The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, VT
"The book is like a salve. I think the world feels disordered right now. The count's refinement and genteel nature are exactly what we're longing for." - Ann Patchett "How delightful that in an era as crude as ours this finely composed novel stretches out with old-World elegance." --The Washington Post He can't leave his hotel. You won't want to. 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.
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 hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry 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. "And the intrigue . . . A Gentleman in Moscow] is laced with sparkling threads (they will tie up) and tokens (they will matter): special keys, secret compartments, gold coins, vials of coveted liquid, old-fashioned pistols, duels and scars, hidden assignations (discreet and smoky), stolen passports, a ruby necklace, mysterious letters on elegant hotel stationery . . . a luscious stage set, backdrop for a downright Casablanca-like drama." --The San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Born and raised in the Boston area, Amor Towles graduated from Yale College and received an MA in English from Stanford University. His first novel, Rules of Civility, published in 2011, was a New York Times bestseller and was named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2011. His second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, published in 2016, was also a New York Times bestseller and was named as one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR. Both novels have been translated into over fifteen languages. Having worked as an investment professional for over twenty years, Mr. Towles now devotes himself full time to writing in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.