5 Historical Books Like A Gentleman In Moscow

Cultural Historical Fiction Books

Come on a literary journey through elegant corridors of history, where every story is a tapestry woven with intricate characters and rich narratives! If Amor Towles’ “A Gentleman in Moscow” captivated you with its exquisite blend of historical depth, emotional nuance, and lyrical prose, then your journey through the pages of history is just beginning.

In this post, we will explore a collection of novels that share the timeless elegance and profound narrative depth of “A Gentleman in Moscow.” These books take you through grand ballrooms of the past, down the quiet alleys of introspection, and across the landscapes of human resilience. Prepare to be transported to different eras, to meet characters as complex and memorable as Count Rostov, and to indulge in stories that resonate with the richness of life itself.

5 Books Like A Gentleman In Moscow

“A Gentleman in Moscow” explores themes of resilience, adaptability, and finding meaning in challenging circumstances. It offers valuable life lessons that can inspire readers to face adversity with grace and dignity. Reading similar books exposes you to eloquent prose that enhances your appreciation for language and storytelling. I will talk about five historical-cultural books similar to A Gentleman In Moscow. Let’s begin!

NameKey FocusTropes
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik BackmanA heartwarming and poignant novel about Ove, a curmudgeonly widower whose solitary and regimented life is disrupted when a lively young family moves in next door, leading to unexpected friendships, community ties, and a reawakening of his spirit.Grumpy old man, unexpected friendships, community bonds, grief and healing, character transformation, life’s second chances, humorous interactions, neighborhood dynamics, intergenerational relationships, heartwarming moments.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel BarberyA philosophical novel set in Paris, focusing on the unexpected friendship between Renée, a concierge who hides her intellectualism, and Paloma, a precocious young girl who plans to end her life on her twelfth birthday, as they discover kindred spirits in each other.Unlikely friendships, hidden intelligence, philosophical musings, social class commentary, introspective characters, Parisian setting, wit and humor, existential reflections, beauty in everyday life, character-driven narrative.
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh NguyenA historical fiction novel that follows a half-Vietnamese, half-French communist spy during the end of the Vietnam War and his subsequent life as a refugee in the United States.Spy narrative, Vietnam War aftermath, dual identity, political intrigue, refugee experience, cultural clash, espionage, moral ambiguity, psychological depth, post-war consequences.
Pachinko by Min Jin LeeA sweeping historical saga that follows four generations of a Korean family from the early 1900s to the 1980s, primarily set in Japan.Multi-generational family saga, Korean-Japanese cultural dynamics, immigrant experience, historical backdrop, identity and belonging, societal discrimination, resilience and adaptation, love and loss, survival against odds, cultural heritage.
The Dutch House by Ann PatchettA family drama spanning five decades, centered around a brother and sister, Danny and Maeve Conroy, and their bond with each other after being exiled from their childhood home, a grand mansion named the Dutch House.Family saga, sibling relationship, childhood home, time-spanning narrative, wealth and poverty, parental influence, nostalgia and memory, character-driven story, loss and redemption,
Books Like A Gentleman In Moscow List

1. A Man Called Ove

This is a story about a gentleman who goes by Ove’s name. He’s fifty-nine, and he’s come to a point in his life where he’s not sure what he should be doing anymore. He doesn’t want to be around people, but he wants to be left alone and have nothing to do with the world and where it’s currently headed. Unfortunately for him, when his new neighbors move in next door, that is no longer possible for him, and they spend his life and get all the other neighbors involved in his life.

This book talks about how Ove develops relationships with them and how they upend his life. It’s a wonderful, heartwarming story that I adored most. Also, it’s one of those stories that have so much depth and dimension to them and so many things that the author talks about that make you think.

Moreover, the author talks about grief and loss, about new life where you come from, and how it’s created you to be the person you are today. How does what happens in our lives affect our decisions? The philosophical aspects and theme are very similar to A Gentleman In Moscow.

A Man Called Ove

Author: Fredrik Backman
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Humorous Literary Fiction
Number Of Pages: 357
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

2. The Elegance of the Hedgehog

This book has a dual narrative. The first perspective is of the concierge of this big house. Then the second perspective is of a young girl who lives in the house, the concierge. She’s a middle-aged widow and is pretty dissatisfied with life. Many of her chapters are highly philosophical, and usually, she judges the people who live in the building.

The girl’s perspective is quite philosophical, like Rostov. She has decided to set the house on fire and then kill herself. But first, she wants to write down all of her brilliant thoughts in this diary. They’re both quite judgmental of the people that live in the building. They’re both quite interested in Japanese aesthetic culture, and they’re also quite interested in philosophy.

I found myself enjoying the plot-based elements much more, like A Gentleman In Moscow. They slowed the book down so much and made it much denser. If any of those things sound appealing to you, I encourage you to check them out.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Author: Muriel Barbery
Average Rating: 4.2/5
Category: Psychological Literary Fiction
Number Of Pages: 323
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

3. The Sympathizer

This book, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for 2016, is the story of a guy who was a sympathizer during the Vietnamese war. It was a war in which the US intervened, and the war was between the left and the right. This book is told by a guy who was a double agent for both sides and educated in America to infiltrate the right better, and his allegiance was mostly to the left.

It’s extremely well written. The story is told, pulls you in, and refuses to let you go. The narrator is endearing, but also not to the point where you aren’t made aware of the questionable choices that he’s making. The psychic distance is done so well in this book because even if you’re there with him, you see the bullet coming an instant before he does. That is a great way to grip someone emotionally.

Moreover, The characterization of everyone else in this is incredible. So, if you guys don’t know much about this book, it takes the form of a confession where he’s talking about his entire experience as a double agent. He talks about his friends and people on both sides, which is realistic. One of the most beautiful things about this book is how deceitful and deceptive the construct of loyalty can be. You can relate many ethical terms to A Gentleman In Moscow when you read it.

The Sympathizer

Author: Viet Thanh Nguyen
Average Rating: 4.3/5
Category: Asian American Literature
Number Of Pages: 445
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

4. Pachinko

This is a multi-generational family story. It follows a Korean family living in Japan from the early 1900s through the 1980s. So you follow about three or four different generations throughout that time. Min Jin Lee made me care about this family almost immediately. She creates a very sympathetic character at the beginning of the story. Then you get to see them have their family.

So you become attached to this family because of how this first generation was. It’s more than following this one single-family line down. You get to see little bits of the offshoots here and there. Like A Gentleman In Moscow, it’s filled with many characters who do not make significant decisions in life. But you can understand why they’re making the decisions they’re making for the most part. There are a couple of characters that you come across where you don’t understand where they’re coming from. As an Asian/Japanese culture, there is a little distance.

There’s a lot of tension and discrimination towards Koreans, especially after the world wars. There was a lot of poverty and struggle for Japanese people during this time, and many of them took it out on Koreans. They see Koreans as second-class citizens and see how even Koreans born in Japan are not considered Japanese citizens. So, seeing the struggles of immigrants and seeing how different generations are treated differently and how they approach the situation differently was fantastic.


Author: Min Jin Lee
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Cultural Heritage Fiction
Number Of Pages: 512
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

5. The Dutch House

The story follows a pair of siblings, Danny and Maeve, who are seven years older. It’s told from Danny’s perspective. Their mother abandoned them when their children and their father remarried Andrea, two younger children. Then, the father dies when Danny is 14. Danny and Maeve have left with nothing apart from a college fund. Danny fully trained as a doctor despite wanting to go into real estate, and their lives evolved.

The Dutch House is the main setting and a large character in this book. It is a very architecturally confusing building built by this couple who baked before they disappeared. Dani and Maeve are obsessed with this building, and even after being kicked out once their father dies, they can’t go back.

They often drive up to it, sit in the car outside, and look up to it. Like Rostov, they have done this for decades. It’s a book about letting go, trying to understand and empathize with parents while not repeating the same mistakes they did. The main thing is determinism, which is very relatable to A Gentleman In Moscow.

The Dutch House

Author: Ann Patchett
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Family Life Fiction
Number Of Pages: 337
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

The stories we’ve ventured through are not just narratives set against historical backdrops; they are reflections on the human spirit, its endurance, and its capacity for grace and strength in the face of changing times. So, as you turn the pages of these eloquent and profound tales, may you find both an escape and a mirror to our world, a glimpse of the past, and a deeper understanding of the narratives that weave through our lives. Until our next literary rendezvous, may your journey through these pages be as enriching as it is enlightening!

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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