Please put your comments for A Gentleman in Moscow book club discussion questions in the comments area below.
1.Having read A Gentleman in Moscow, who would you recommend it to?
2. Did you like the premise of the book? Was it believable that an aristocrat was under house arrest for more than 30 years?
3. Why do you think that the author made the protagonist an aristocrat? How does the title of the book tie into that?
4. How did the structure and layout of the book help the author tell the story? Was it successful in doing so this way? Did the footnotes help?
5. Which character did you feel most connected to and why?
6. Which character is your least favorite?
7. The book was humorous in parts, which part made you laugh the most?
8. There were many references to the movie Casablanca. Have you seen the movie and would you do so now that it was referred to so much? What is the connection between the movie and A Gentleman in Moscow?
9. A Gentleman in Moscow brought into play numerous themes such as loyalty, friendship, love, change and upheaval to name a few. Which theme impacted you the most and why?
10. How did the Count’s relationship with Nina change him? Was she the impetus for his change in his perception of his situation? Or do you think that he would have cultivated strong bonds of friendship and enjoyed his life time imprisonment in the Metropol regardless whether he had met Nina?
11. The Count says that the “Bolsheviks are uprooting/erasing the Gentleman’s history.” What does mean? How are the Bolsheviks changing Russia?
12. A Gentleman in Moscow touches on the philosophical debates ranging from Darwin to Nietzsche. What did you think of the Count’s explanation and belief in the changes in weather? Did you find his belief convincing?
13. Food and drink are centered prominently in the novel. How does that tie into the book?
14. The Metropol hotel is like a character in this book. Does the author make you feel that it was something special and would you like to visit it?
15. The setting of A Gentleman in Moscow is set in Russia over a 32 year span, from post-revolutionary Russia, World War II, to the Stalinist era. Did you think the author was successful in giving a balance view the Count’s life and what was going on in Russia in that time?
16. Friendship is a major theme in this novel. Discuss the Count’s relationship with his friend Mishka (Mikhail Fyodorovich Mindich), who is a poet and revolutionary. Are you surprised that the Count also is a kindred spirit with American Richard Vanderwhile?
For book groups and clubs who want to experience Russian culture, check out history of Russia books, read some Tolstoy or Chekov, cook a Latvian stew that the Count enjoyed (Towles suggestion), and drink some Russian wine!
Check out A Gentleman In Moscow book review!