A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow


Amor Towles

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The Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov

The Count is the protagonist and titular character of A Gentleman in Moscow. A member of the Russian aristocracy, the Count was raised in an estate in the Nizhny Novgorod province along with his… read analysis of The Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov

Mikhail Fyodorovich Mindich (Mishka)

The Count’s best friend, whom he met at school and who keeps him company at the hotel. Even though they come from different class backgrounds (Mishka is not noble), they became fast friends when the… read analysis of Mikhail Fyodorovich Mindich (Mishka)

Anna Urbanova

A film actress and a lover of the Count’s. When the two meet in 1923, Anna is at the height of fame, having starred in several popular films. She initially makes a poor impression… read analysis of Anna Urbanova

Nina Kulikova

One of the first friends the Count makes during his imprisonment in the hotel. At the start of the novel, Nina is a precocious nine-year-old who is obsessed with the aristocracy and the rules and… read analysis of Nina Kulikova


Nina’s daughter, whom she brings to the Metropol when her husband is arrested and sent to Siberia. The Count agrees to watch Sofia, who is five years old at the time, for a few months… read analysis of Sofia
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The Bishop

A Bolshevik who works at the hotel, whom the Count refers to as “the Bishop” due to his “narrow head and superior demeanor.” The Bishop starts the novel working as a waiter in the hotel’s… read analysis of The Bishop

Andrey Duras

The maître d’ of the hotel’s fine restaurant, the Boyarsky. The Count explains that the Boyarsky would not run without Andrey, who appears to anticipate the needs of every guest, much to the Count’s delight… read analysis of Andrey Duras

Emile Zhukovsky

The head chef of the Boyarksy and the third member of “the Triumvirate,” along with the Count and Andrey. Their friendship becomes crucial to Emile as they support him against the Bishop’s tyranny. The… read analysis of Emile Zhukovsky


The Metropol’s seamstress. Marina not only mends the Count’s pants several times (particularly when he is exploring the hotel with Nina), but she also serves as a confidante for him. A mother of two, Marina… read analysis of Marina

Osip Ivanovich Glebnikov

A former Colonel of the Red Army who becomes the Chief Administrator of the secret police in Russia. When the Soviets reopen Russia to foreign relations, he asks the Count to tutor him in French… read analysis of Osip Ivanovich Glebnikov

Richard Vanderwhile

an American aide-de-camp of a general who stays in the Metropol in the mid-1940s. In the 1950s, Richard starts to gather intelligence on Russian politics, and asks for the Count’s help in doing so. Richard… read analysis of Richard Vanderwhile


a handyman in the Metropol who also keeps bees on the roof. When the Count happens upon the rooftop one night, Abram offers him honey, and he and the Count speak about how they are… read analysis of Abram


The Count’s sister, a gentle and kind girl who died at the age of twenty of scarlet fever while the Count was in Paris. He had loved her dearly and been very protective of her… read analysis of Helena

The Hussar Officer

A young man and a rival of the Count whom he encounters at a birthday party for a princess. Due to a series of small incidents, the princess had favored the Count over the officer… read analysis of The Hussar Officer

The Countess

the Count’s grandmother, who raises Helena and the Count after their parents pass away. When the Russian nobility is dissolved, the Count returns to his family estate from Paris in order to ensure her safe… read analysis of The Countess

The Grand Duke Demidov

The Count’s godfather and a former adviser to the Tsar. After the Count’s parents died when he was ten years old, the Grand Duke helped to raise the Count and gave him the advice that… read analysis of The Grand Duke Demidov
Minor Characters
The Round-Faced Fellow
Referred to most often as the “round-faced fellow with a receding hairline,” this man is an early fan of Anna’s. When he becomes a Minister of culture, he contributes to the resurgence of Anna’s career by telling many directors in town how wonderful she is.
The Metropol’s concierge, who has a knack for knowing where any of the hotel’s guests are at a given time. He often informs the Count where Nina is, and later in the novel, where Sofia is.
Jozef Halecki
The Metropol’s manager at the beginning of the novel. The Count describes him as a master of delegation because he rarely sees Halecki. Ultimately, Halecki’s position is taken over by the Bishop.
Joseph Stalin
The real-life Soviet revolutionary who served as the country’s General Secretary (the highest office in the government) from 1922 to 1952. Stalin led Russia against Germany during World War II and drove Russia to become a world power.
Nikita Khrushchev
One of eight men who had a claim to Stalin’s position following his death; in the novel, Khrushchev is able to become the heir apparent by casting himself on the side of a progressive technology: nuclear power plants.
Viktor Stepanovich Skadovsky
The conductor of the orchestra in the lesser of the Metropol’s two restaurants, the Piazza. Later he gives Sofia piano lessons.
A poet and Mishka’s lover. Katerina informs the Count of Mishka’s passing and gives him Mishka’s final project as a gift.
The bartender of the Metropol’s bar, the Shalyapin, who serves the Count many times over the course of his thirty-two-year stay.
Viktor Shalamov
The editor of Mishka’s volumes of Anton Chekhov’s letters, who asks him to censor certain lines he feels are too anti-Russian.
Konstantin Konstantinovich
A Greek man who helps the Count keep his finances up to date and delivers necessary items to him when he is first imprisoned.
The desk captain of the Metropol.