Listen free for 30 days

A Gentleman in Moscow

Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,944 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Soon to be a major TV series starring Kenneth Branagh.

The Times Book of the Year 2017
A Sunday Times Book of the Year 2017
A Mail on Sunday Book of the Year 2017
A Daily Express Book of the Year 2017
An Irish Times Book of the Year 2017
One of Barack Obama's Best Books of 2017
Nominated for the 2018 Independent Booksellers Week Award

On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov - recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt - is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol. 

Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. But instead of his usual suite, he must now live in an attic room while Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval. 

Can a life without luxury be the richest of all?

©2017 Amor Towles (P)2018 Audible, Ltd
What members say
Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,486
  • 4 Stars
    321
  • 3 Stars
    85
  • 2 Stars
    34
  • 1 Stars
    18
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,439
  • 4 Stars
    265
  • 3 Stars
    73
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    8
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,360
  • 4 Stars
    289
  • 3 Stars
    95
  • 2 Stars
    38
  • 1 Stars
    19

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Spoiled by reader

This is a superb book but I wish I had chosen to read it rather than listen as the reader's all too frequent mispronunciations set my teeth on edge.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Rewarding if you're patient with it.

Really enjoyable and somewhat unusual story of a Russian aristocrat sentenced to house arrest in the Hotel Metropole in Moscow, having narrowly escaped execution after the revolution. However, this book doesn't give its pleasures away easily. It's written with technical precision and sometimes early on seemed like an exercise in lexicography rather than a flowing tale. I'm not sure if I would have had the patience with the regular book, that a few long drives allowed me to get drawn into the audio book. But I'm glad I did. Ultimately though, the characters emerge deeply, and the observations underpin a story which spins well beyond the confines of the Metropole. Narration is precise and a great fit for the style of the book.

65 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Oh dear, I’m going to have to buy the book...

This is a great story, a fascinating setting, well written, with great charming and intriguing characters. I’m really entranced by the book... but I am going to have to give up on this reading because of the extraordinary and highly irritating pronunciation errors. This is read by a man with a classic English accent, but who persists in using American pronunciations - but only for certain words! There are also numerous errors of emphasis, which should have been picked up by the editor. It is slowly driving me mad... so the only way to finish this intriguing book will be to read it to myself. How tiresome!

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I love this and now I feel bereft

I want this story to go on and on. The characters I've come to know and love loom large in my imagination. They feel so real that I can almost touch them if I reach back in time.
The Metropol hotel and all its cast of characters - all brought to life by the brilliant narration - will stay with me forever. The sounds and smells, the music and food - they are seared in my memory. It feels like the end of a thrilling affair.
Thank you, Amor Towles, for the taking me on this journey.

46 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The best book I’ve listened and read in a long time

Cannot recommend this highly enough
I laughed, I cried and I started listening as I was on holiday but it was soooo sooo good that o wanted to read the words as well. So ended up doing both. And I’ll be buying a paper copy as well as I want to give to my mum
Just superb 5*

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A classic

A brilliantly subversive morality tale. Filled with humour,pathos, a cast of colourful characters.

Against a backdrop of the rise of Stalinism, the scope is epic. Complex plot with sublime twists. I have over 500 audiobooks and this is near the top of my top 10 outstanding

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book, shame about careless pronunciation

Completely agree with all the other reviews. Splendid book - spoiled for me by the absolutely infuriating, liberally peppered mispronunciations of certain names and words. Once might be fine. Two or three times might be forgivable - and maybe I'm just being overly pedantic - but not even being able to pronounce fairly standard words like 'Ermine' or 'Cossack' correctly...

Surely the reader could have done a little research to round off what is otherwise a beautifully read book. End of rant!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LP
  • 21-12-18

Heartbroken...

... that I’ve finished listening to this wonderful book. My life will be empty without the courteous, witty and charming Count Rostov. What a fabulous way to stride twentieth-century Russian history as it flows in, out and around the Hotel Metropol. The genius of the story is the weaving in of tiny details that eventually coalesce to form a perfect and satisfactory conclusion to a brilliant plot. It’s superbly narrated, each character springing to life with pitch-perfect accents and nuances. A delight of a book.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A lesson in philosophy

This is one of the most significant books I have read. The last that left me feeling this was was 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' Apart from the gorgeous use of language, the faultless narration and the compelling story line, this was a delicious lesson in philosophy, history, love, loss and manners. What a treat!

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Pretentious boring drivel...

This is one of those books that people will state ‘If you don’t get it, you’re not intelligent enough’. Well, I beg to differ. There’s no story, no conflict and no character arcs. It’s basically a guy having day to day conversations with random people for 15 hours. Nothing happens! 10 minutes of an assembled railway union arguing over wether or not the word ‘facilitate’ should be replaced with ‘enable and insure’ and rambling on about using a hammer, is the kind of typical narrative you’ll find throughout in the absence of story. The performers voice is the same for each character, but that’s ok, as none of the characters are memorable anyway, the annoying little girl aside. Simply the worst book I have ever read. Totally pointless.

4 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gone Fishing
  • Gone Fishing
  • 04-11-19

An artfully woven story, beautifully narrated.

The story of a young aristocratic Russian gentleman who is arrested and tried for being an aristocrat and who is banished to a small room in the Attic of the hotel in which he has been living. We meet the staff and visitors to the hotel as he adapts to his new life and learn of the goings on in Russia as the country transitions to communism.
The Count is an honest, fair minded, ethical man who sees the good in people and he turns out to be the luckiest man in Russia.
Narrated in an aristocratic english voice that adds depth and colour to the story.
Lots of period details and nicely developed other characters.
Totally immersing.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 21-10-19

Understated Genius!

The dialogue alone makes this book a masterpiece. But add to that the dramatic historical backdrop, the emotional eloquence of the characters and the author's ability to lift images off the page, and you have a truly memorable epic! What a pity I can never read this for the first time again!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wendy
  • Wendy
  • 22-05-20

Excellent book

I absolutely loved this book! I could not stop listening to it, I highly recommend it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Catherine
  • Catherine
  • 08-02-20

A Generous Gentleman

This novel has been perfect company for 18 hours. We’ve sat in the sun, walked up mountains and cooked meals together. There is an array of loveable characters who knit together a fascinating story of life in Bolshevik Russia. Count Rostov is truly a gentleman who never loses heart even though he is under house arrest for many years. His relationships with the Metropole staff and his adopted daughter Sofia are rich, warm and generous and a reminder that joy and purpose can be found almost anywhere. Highly recommended

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Craig
  • Craig
  • 01-11-19

A lovely story

A lovely story; strange and quirky, but lovely. A slice of life in Moscow from the revolution through to the middle of the communist era.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rebecca
  • Rebecca
  • 10-08-19

Delightful

A beautifully written tale of a kindly gentleman and his quiet, unassuming and yet eventful life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Glen Mollink
  • Glen Mollink
  • 27-06-19

Wonderful story

What and amazing, beautiful and uplifting story so well written and elegantly read. Would recommend highly.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Priya S
  • Priya S
  • 18-01-19

An enchanting tale....beautifully narrated

Lovely narration... and amazing language. The book does not have a definitive plot and at a point of time I started feeling that the book was dragging, but then the accounts in the book keep one entertained and engaged. After having listened to the book, I wish I could visit Hotel Metropol in Moscow sometime, and see for myself how the place matches to the illustration of Towles.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Arlene
  • Arlene
  • 14-11-18

beautiful narration

I loved this book from start to finish. Eloquently narrated and with descriptions that lifted me right into the era and place. I dreaded the end and would have loved it to carry on.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rupert Mollusc
  • Rupert Mollusc
  • 18-10-18

Not great...

I succumbed to the hype on this one. After all it was Barack Obama's favourite book of 2017, and he knows great literature, right ? Well, maybe not. Nicholas Guy Smith does a good job with the narration, but he can't overcome the material. Every detail seems contrived, Mr Towles has a poor grasp of idiom, his insights are trite, many of the character interactions seem implausible... I had to stop listening, as eventually the book's effect on me was like nails on a blackboard.

1 person found this helpful