20 Best Books Like A Gentleman in Moscow (Political Fiction)

In A Gentleman in Moscow, a Bolshevik tribunal sentences Count Alexander Rostov to live in a hotel attic across from the Kremlin. Political and historical events also pervade the pages of these 20 similar books. Let’s dive right in!

About A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

It is 1922 when a Bolshevik tribunal sentences Count Alexander Rostov to an attic in a hotel across the street from the Kremlin. 

20 Best Books Like A Gentleman in Moscow (Political Fiction)

His crime: writing a poem.

Alexander experiences and observes decades of key events in Russian history in the attic at the Hotel Metropol. 

With a strong sense of setting and insightful, inspiring prose, A Gentleman in Moscow showcases modern Russian history and its cruelty while keeping the heart of friendship and human connection. 

These similar 20 political and historical fiction books will transport you to a time and place full of moving characters and unique histories!

About Amor Towles

Amor Towles was born in Boston and received his MA in English from Stanford University. An award-winning American novelist of several notable books, including Rules of Civility, The Lincoln Highway, and A Gentleman in Moscow, Towles specializes in writing moving characters in difficult time periods to explore the emotional journeys they experience among the politics of the setting.

Towles lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children. His second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, has been picked up for a television series starring Ewan McGregor.  

You can find all of Amor Towles’s novels here!  

20 Best Political Fiction Books Like A Gentleman in Moscow

The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander

The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar (A Romanov Novel)

The final days of Nicholas and Alexandra Romanov are crafted and told through the lens of Leonka, the Romanovs’ kitchen boy, who vows he is a witness to the royal family’s violent murders. 

The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar takes place in St. Petersburg in 1917 and offers insight into Russia’s class through the Bolshevik Revolution. Fans of A Gentleman in Moscow will appreciate the heart this novel brings to the table and the well-developed main character. 

The Dream Life of Sukhanov by Olga Grushin

The Dream Life of Sukhanov

This award-winning novel tells the tale of a Russian artist, Anatoly Sukhanov, who analyzes his past through dreams and navigates the consequences of trading artistry, morals, and a sense of self for wealth and politics. 

A Gentleman in Moscow and The Dream Life of Sukhanov feature unforgettable main characters and lyrical prose. You can get this dark and moving political fiction novel here!

Lampedusa by Steven Price 

Lampedusa

Italian aristocracy in the 1950s is on display in this novel about Giuseppe Tomasi, a writer prince who struggles to leave a legacy of worth behind before he runs out of time in Sicily. 

With gorgeous depictions of characters and heart-wrenching truth, Lampedusa will move readers. Whereas A Gentleman in Moscow is about a fictional Russian Count, Lampedusa is about an actual historical Italian prince and writer. 

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

Lost Roses: A Novel (Woolsey-Ferriday)

Against the backdrop of the Russian revolution and the first World War, three women navigate their ever-changing lives. 

Sofya is a cousin of the Romanovs, Varinka is the daughter of a fortune teller whose family has ties to leaders of the Bolshevik uprisings, and Eliza Ferriday longs for social justice but holds no power to help. 

Together, these three characters lead readers on an emotional journey through multiple countries in a historical setting where lives were lost and forever changed. 

You can get Lost Roses here!

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell

The Marriage Portrait: A novel

Florence, 1550s. 

The young duchess Lucrezia de’ Medici marries the ruler of Ferrara and fights for her survival at every turn in the everchanging and tumultuous court. 

Maggie O’Farrell brings Renaissance Italy to life in this political fiction novel about a girl who must deliver an heir in an unfamiliar court upon a foreign political stage. 

You can get The Marriage Portrait here!

Grey Bees by Andrey Kurkov

No products found.

A political fiction novel full of humanity and compassion, much like A Gentleman in Moscow, Grey Bees follows a Ukrainian beekeeper who is one of the last residents in Little Starhorodivka. 

The village is in the “Grey Zone ” in Ukraine, the no man’s land between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists. As the war rages on, beekeeper Sergey Sergeyich encounters a cast of characters in his pursuit of protection and care for his bees in a land horrified by war.  

You can get this bestselling novel by Ukraine’s most famous novelist, Andrey Kurkov, here!

The Woman of a Thousand Names by Alexandra Lapierre

No products found.

Based on the true story of Russia’s Mata Hari, The Woman of a Thousand Names follows the beautiful and elusive aristocrat as she survives war and revolution.

You can get this complex and female-driven political novel here

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

The Secrets We Kept: A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

Two secretaries are spies in The Secrets We Kept, a political novel set in the 1950s during the Cold War. 

While tasked with smuggling and publishing Doctor Zhivago, a banned love story by Pasternak out of the USSR, Sally and Irina work together to inspire Soviet Russia’s hearts with a moving love story to bring about change. 

You can get this award-winning debut novel by Lara Prescott here!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

All the Light We Cannot See follows two main characters, Marie-Laure, a blind French girl who must flee Nazi-occupied Paris in the 1940s, and Werner Pfennig, an orphaned German boy, as they cross paths and navigate survival in a world and country torn apart by war. 

You can get this atmospheric and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel here

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network: A Reese's Book Club Pick

Banished and abandoned by her family for getting pregnant, American girl Charlie St. Clair travels to London in search of her cousin Rose, who went missing during the war in Nazi-occupied France. 

Meanwhile, Eve Gardiner is a former spy who struggles with a betrayal that happened during the Great War. When Charlie St. Clair arrives on her doorstep, the past comes to light, and the two must work together to reveal the truth and Rose. 

You can get The Alice Network here

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee 

Pachinko

The events of Pachinko occur across several decades, during both the Japanese occupation of Korea and World War II, and are a backdrop for many of the problems the main characters face. 

This historical and political novel follows Sunja, a young girl who gets pregnant with a married wealthy man before leaving for Japan with a kind and sickly minister. Over the years and throughout historical events, Sunja’s children grow and change. 

You can get this profoundly moving novel here

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale: A Novel

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah follows two sisters in 1939 France as the Nazis invade and occupy the country, changing their lives and relationships forever. 

Vianne Mauriac must make difficult decisions to protect her family after her husband leaves for the Front and the Nazis occupy her home. 

Isabelle, Vianne’s younger sister, falls in love only to be betrayed before joining the Resistance and throwing herself into dangerous situations to save the people around her. 

In a powerful and courageous novel, The Nightingale delivers a heart like A Gentleman in Moscow

Horse by Geraldine Brooks

Horse: A Novel

The most remarkable racing horse in American history connects people across centuries in Horse by Geraldine Brooks. 

The novel rotates through four points of view: Jarret, the 19th-century horse’s enslaved handler; Martha, a gallery owner in the 1950s; Jess, an osteologist studying the horse’s skeleton; and Theo, a historian and recent graduate who comes into possession of a discarded horse painting in 2019. 

A Pulitzer Prize-winning author writes this complex and thought-provoking novel about race full of rich detail that A Gentleman in Moscow fans will enjoy. 

You can get Horse by Geraldine Brooks here!

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Bel Canto (Harper Perennial Deluxe Editions)

A birthday party for Mr. Hosokawa, an influential and powerful businessman, is taken over by terrorists in the political fiction novel Bel Canto

As the novel progresses, humanity shines through on both sides, and bridges are built between terrorists and hostages as understanding and relationships form between both groups. 

Both Bel Canto and A Gentleman in Moscow feature humbled characters and the beauty of small things that lead to lasting human connection. 

You can get Bel Canto here!

The Underground Railroad by Colston Whitehead 

The Underground Railroad: A Novel

In pre-Civil War Georgia, Cora tries to escape slavery using the Underground Railroad. In this own voices novel by Colston Whitehead, the Underground Railroad is not a metaphor but an actual network of tracks, tunnels, engineers, and conductors that lead Cora from state to state, where she encounters harrowing experience after harrowing experience. 

Winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a National Book Award, The Underground Railroad by Colston Whitehead looks at the horrors of history and racism that continue to bleed into the present. 

You can get this complex novel here!

Mikhail and Margarita by Julie Lekstrom Himes 

Mikhail and Margarita: A Novel

It’s the 1920s and 1930s when Mikhail Bulgakov watches as his poet friend is abused, arrested, and outlawed. Simultaneously, the secret police are on Bulgakov’s trail as he falls in love with Margarita, an opinionated and strong woman. 

Inspired and on the brink of arrest, Bulgakov writes a critical novel about criticism of power that captivates, challenges, and puts him at certain risk. 

You can get this historical political fiction novel here!

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds

With a strong and likable main character, The Four Winds is a historical novel about a woman living during the Great Depression. She navigates living in Texas after the Dust Bowl and the prospect of moving to California for a risky, unknown future. 

Lyrical prose and rich details make The Four Winds a sweeping read for fans of A Gentleman in Moscow!

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

The Lincoln Highway: A Novel

By the same author of A Gentleman in Moscow, The Lincoln Highway takes place in 1954. It follows young Emmett Watson, a recently released inmate who goes on a road trip with his brother Billy after two juvie escapees hideaway in the warden’s car, dragging Emmett into a plan involving his future and New York City. 

Another character-driven novel by Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway is bittersweet with a full cast of characters. You can get this coming-of-age novel here

Advise and Consent by Allen Drury

Advise and Consent

First published in 1959, Advise and Consent is considered a major impactful political fiction novel. 

The book follows the United States Senate and the conflicts that arise after the United States President makes a controversial choice for Secretary of State, who needs to be confirmed into office by the Senators. 

Allen Drury’s novel explores the motives, debates, and scandals between political figures in Washington, D.C. 

You can get this award-winning classic political fiction novel here

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea

Four stories and narratives intertwine in Salt to the Sea, a young adult novel about the ill-fated German ship Wilhelm Gustloff shot down by Soviet torpedoes in 1945. 

Aboard the refugee ship are Lithuanian nurse Joana, Polish Emilia, Prussian Florian, and German soldier Alfred, whose lives all connect in many ways, for better or worse. 

This haunting, character-focused novel lends itself to readers interested in forgotten war events. It will move fans of A Gentleman in Moscow.

You can get Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys here!

Final Thoughts

These 20 political fiction books, like A Gentleman in Moscow, feature striking characters full of wit, sympathy, emotion, and heart that will take readers to a place of historical importance while keeping the feeling of humanity alive. 

Travel through an array of global political events through this list and find your next favorite read!

FAQs

What is the point of A Gentleman in Moscow?

A Gentleman in Moscow navigates humanity in a time of political upheaval, highlights the importance of personal growth, comments on the role of government, warns against the poison of power, and touches on the inability to stop time and change.

Is A Gentleman in Moscow being made into a TV series?

A Gentleman in Moscow is being made into a TV series on Showtime.

Is A Gentleman in Moscow worth reading?

A Gentleman in Moscow was a finalist for the 2016 Kirkus Prize in Fiction & Literature, a New York Times bestseller, and received high reviews from several literary journals, including Kirkus Book Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist. A Gentleman in Moscow continues to be a staple in political fiction, considered one of the best in the genre.

Is A Gentleman in Moscow based on a true story?

A Gentleman in Moscow pulls from historical events, and the Metropol hotel is real. Still, the Count and most characters are fictional.

Is political fiction a genre?

Political fiction is a genre in literature that includes books featuring commentary on political events, systems, and theories. Political fiction frequently offers insight and criticism of society or fictionalizes a society to build up the theme and analysis. It is common for political fiction and historical fiction to go hand and hand.

YouTube video
Taylor Brazzill