How-to Host a Book-Club with A Gentleman in Moscow

As I conclude reading A House in the Sky, which will soon be transformed into a feature film, I am getting prepared to read a mega-hit, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amar Towles.

Take a peek at this charming video about A Gentleman in Moscow!

A Gentleman in Moscow Book Club Questions

1. What was your initial impression of Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov? How did your perception of him change over the course of the novel?

2. The Count chose to stay in Russia following the revolution. Why do you think he stayed while other members of his family left? Do you think he should have made a different choice?

3. It’s difficult for the Count to accept his sentence and lifetime confinement. How do you think he was able to make peace with his situation?

4. How is the Count insulated from the turbulent history of Russia? How does he view the historical events happening in the world?

5. In what ways was the outside world brought to the Count? Can you point to specific scenes in which the Count was able to imagine and experience Russia despite his imprisonment?

6. How is the Count changed by his confinement in the Metropol? In what ways does he retain his identity as a gentleman and aristocrat? In what ways does his identity change?

7. Which characters have the greatest impact on the Count’s life? Reflect on how he might have interacted with these characters in his former life.

8. How is Nina the Eloise of the Metropol? What does she bring to the Count’s life and what does he represent to her?

9. How does the Count decide to create a life of purpose despite his confinement? Do you think he lived a happy life in spite of, or perhaps even because of, his imprisonment?

10. How do you think the Count’s life would have been different had he left Russia following the revolution?


In May, 2019, Microsoft founder Bill Gates recommended A Gentleman in Moscow as one of five books worth reading over the coming summer. “A Gentleman in Moscow is an amazing story because it manages to be a little bit of everything. There’s fantastical romance, politics, espionage, parenthood, and poetry. The book is technically historical fiction, but you’d be just as accurate calling it a thriller or a love story. Even if Russia isn’t on your must-visit list, I think everyone can enjoy Towles’s trip to Moscow this summer.” You can read his full review here.

Read Amar Towles interview with the Wall Street Journal

‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ is a charming reminder of what it means to be classy – Washington Post

Hosting Inspiration for A Gentleman in Moscow Cocktail

Engage your guests by creating some of the popular drinks from the novel. Audrius, the bartender at the Metropol, is challenged one night to create four drinks that represent each of the colors of St. Basil’s Cathedral. The final results are the Goldenrod, the Robin’s Egg, the Brick Wall, and the Christmas Tree. Even though the drinks are ficitonal, a fan of the book was challenged to create these drinks. Here are the recipes:

THE BRICK WALL: 1 oz each of bourbon, aperol, amaro (recommend an amaro called averna) and lemon juice.

THE CHRISTMAS TREE: Equal parts rum, midori, lemon juice, and a few brandied cherries to add to the holiday cheer.

THE GOLDEN ROD: 1 oz lemon infused vodka, 1/2 oz yellow chartreuse, 2 dashes of lemon bitters. Add some simple syrup if necessary for sweetness.

THE ROBIN’S EGG: 2 oz vodka, 1 oz blue curaçao, 1 

You may also want to serve up some Russian tea.

How about a classic Russian dessert or two or a few (lol), to go along with your cocktails or tea, check it out!

Happy book-club party!! A Gentleman in Moscow- themed book-club!

If you do host this theme of a book-club in the future, please drop a line in the comments letting me know how did you like it.


Amar Towles Facebook page

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