Rules of Civility (Thorndike Reviewers' Choice) (Large Print / Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


This book is a confection, an aged whiskey, a sweet romp with someone attractive who is also bright and a little complicated. The Rules of Civility is a lovely escape of a read. Amor Towles has a distinctive voice and style: elegant and fun and punctuated with subtle notes of yearning and loss that come from looking back.

— Barbette Houser

Engrossing, glittering, passionate, and fun, Rules of Civility tells the story of a young woman in 1930s New York City and the fascinating characters she meets as she tries to navigate the upper eschelons of society. This book will draw you in right off the bat and leave you wanting more of Towles' elegant yet witty storytelling. A delight!

— Indiana

Fall '12 Reading Group List


“This flawless debut novel follows two young women, boarding-house roommates, making their way in 1938 Manhattan. A chance meeting with an enigmatic young businessman launches the pair into areas of society heretofore closed to them, where they encounter a large cast of characters both charming and repellent. With echoes of Fitzgerald, Towles evokes effortlessly the era of pre-war Manhattan, from the workplace politics of a law office secretarial pool to the alcohol-fueled lawn party of the Long Island gin-and-horses set. This is an astonishing book!”
— Matthew Lage, Iowa Book L.L.C., Iowa City, IA

August 2011 Indie Next List


“This flawless debut novel follows two young women, boarding-house roommates, making their way in 1938 Manhattan. A chance meeting with an enigmatic young businessman launches the pair into areas of society heretofore closed to them, where they encounter a large cast of characters both charming and repellent. With echoes of Fitzgerald, Towles evokes effortlessly the era of pre-war Manhattan, from the workplace politics of a law office secretarial pool to the alcohol-fueled lawn party of the Long Island gin-and-horses set. This is an astonishing book!”
— Matthew Lage, Iowa Book L.L.C., Iowa City, IA

Description


A sophisticated and entertaining debut novel about an irresistible young woman with an uncommon sense of purpose.
Set in New York City in 1938, "Rules of Civility" tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising twenty-five-year- old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.
The story opens on New Year's Eve in a Greenwich Village jazz bar, where Katey and her boardinghouse roommate Eve happen to meet Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with royal blue eyes and a ready smile. This chance encounter and its startling consequences cast Katey off her current course, but end up providing her unexpected access to the rarified offices of Conde Nast and a glittering new social circle. Befriended in turn by a shy, principled multimillionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well, and a single-minded widow who is ahead of her times, Katey has the chance to experience first hand the poise secured by wealth and station, but also the aspirations, envy, disloyalty, and desires that reside just below the surface. Even as she waits for circumstances to bring Tinker back into her orbit, she will learn how individual choices become the means by which life crystallizes loss.
Elegant and captivating, "Rules of Civility" turns a Jamesian eye on how spur of the moment decisions define life for decades to come. A love letter to a great American city at the end of the Depression, readers will quickly fall under its spell of crisp writing, sparkling atmosphere and breathtaking revelations, as Towles evokes the ghosts of Fitzgerald, Capote, and McCarthy.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781410443243
ISBN-10: 1410443248
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Publication Date: December 16th, 2011
Pages: 579
Language: English
Series: Thorndike Reviewers' Choice