#BookBeginnings A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles


Am I crazy to be reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles for Book Beginnings on Fridays?

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!



A Gentleman in Moscow* by Amor Towles

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Summary:   Russian aristocrat Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in 1922. Not allowed to leave a hotel across from the Kremlin, Rostov lives vicariously through the people who live in the hotel or who he can see on the street. But does he have more to offer from his vantage point than he thinks?

First Sentence of Book One:

At half past six on the twenty-first of June 1922, when Count Alexander Ilyvich Rostov was escorted through the gates of the Kremlin onto Red Square, it was glorious and cool. Drawing his shoulders back without breaking stride, the Count inhaled the air like one fresh from a swim.



The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice. The premise is simple. Turn to page 56 in the book and pick a quote.


Having lived in the Metropol for four years, the Count considered himself something of an expert on the hotel. He knew its staff by name, its services by experience, and the decorative styles of its suites by heart.

This novel is 462 pages long, so the 56 quote is still close to the beginning. So far the writing is incredible, although I wonder about the author’s choice of calling his main character ‘the Count.” Do you think it seems distancing?

I’m hoping it will not be too difficult to read a novel about someone trapped in a hotel while being more or less trapped at home.

What do you think? Would you read A Gentleman in Moscow right now?


(Public domain photograph of the Kremlin by Svetlana Tikhonova.)


  1. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I’ve been seeing this book everywhere. I hope you are enjoying it. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    • Roberta

      I had seen it recommended and picked it up at a library sale. I’m finding all sorts of fun things on my shelves.

  2. Christina Gibbs

    That’s on my TBR. I think it’s a great read now, nice and long! I’m reading “In the Wake of the Plague” about the Black Death in 1349 England, from which I’ve learned that things could be worse. Enjoy your book!

    • Roberta

      Reading does give us perspective. Or escape. There’s a time for both, I guess.

  3. Buffy Silverman

    I loved that book and think it would be a fine read right now.

    • Roberta

      Thank you for letting me know. Good to see you here.

  4. Bea's Book Nook

    Calling him “The Count” does seem like a distancing technique; interesting choice. And yes, an interesting choice on your part to read about someone housebound while you are housebound. Perhaps it will offer you insight or hope. Enjoy!

  5. Karen M Gibson

    That is an “interesting” reading choice right now. Is the novel based upon (even loosely) real events? Almost brings to mind Snowdon trapped in an Embassy all those years.

    • Roberta

      I actually went to watch some author interviews. Turns out his inspiration was simply wondering what it would be like to live in a hotel. https://youtu.be/mUXlagGIH18

  6. Anne@HeadFullofBooks

    The book is surprisingly good and of course well-written. The quotes are proof of that. My Friday quotes and a review

  7. Sassy Brit @ Alternative-Read.com

    Oh looks fun! I agree, being trapped in a house is a good time to read about being trapped in a hotel! lol

    Here is my Friday post. Have a great weekend.

  8. Breana M.

    This one seems like an interesting read. Enjoy your current read!

  9. Freda Mans-Labianca

    I love the way it sounds. Happy weekend, stay safe!

  10. Lauren @ Always Me

    I’ve got this on my tbr!

    Lauren @ Always Me

  11. Priyanka

    I have seen this book around! It sounds interesting!
    ~ Priyanka @ A Booklion’s Hideaway

  12. Ashley S.

    I’ve been curious about this one. Right now seems like the perfect time to read it. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

  13. Sammie @ The Writerly Way

    You know, I’ve heard *of* this book, but I don’t think I’ve heard much about it. I think “the Count” does seem a bit distancing on the surface, but maybe not if the story’s told just right. It sounds like an interesting read. I hope you enjoy it!

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