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Rules of Civility Paperback – 5 Jan 2012
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Impossibly glamorous . . . Towles conjures up vintage New York so marvellously that it made me feel nostalgic for a place I've never been to. (The Times)
Achingly stylish...witty, slick production, replete with dark intrigue, period details, and a suitably Katharine Hepburn-like heroine (Guardian)
The summer's must-read: gripping and beautiful (Sunday Times)
Terrific. A smart, witty, charming dry-martini of a novel (David Nicholls, author of One Day)
This is a flesh-and-blood tale you believe in, with fabulous period detail. It's all too rare to find a fun, glamorous, semi-literary tale to get lost in... While you're lost in the whirl of silk stockings, fur and hip flasks, all you care about is what Katey Kontent does next (Viv Groskop, Observer)
Irresistible... A cross between Dorothy Parker and Holly Golightly, Katey Kontent is a priceless narrator in her own right - the brains of a bluestocking with the legs of a flapper and the mores of Carrie Bradshaw (Elena Seymenliyska, Telegraph)
Because who doesn't want to be transported to Thirties Manhattan? (Lucy Mangan)
Jazz-age New York is the setting for martinis and girls on the make in Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. As glamorous as it is gut-wrenching, this is the summer's must-read (ELLE)
...my book of the year. If the unthinkable happened and I could never read another new work of fiction in 2011, I'd simply re-read this sparkling, stylish book, with yet another round of martinis as dry as the author's wit (Jackie McGlone, Herald)
Set against a soundtrack of clinking glasses and saxophones, the book is a love letter to the city and the era, so confidently written it instantly plunges you into Thirties New York. Towles creates a narrative that sparkles with sentences so beautiful you'll stop and re-read them. A delicious and memorable novel that will leave you wistful - and desperate for a martini (Stylist)
The first novel by the author of The Gentleman of Moscow, Rules of Civility is a witty, elegant fairytale of late 30's New York for fans of Breakfast at Tiffany's and F. Scott Fitzgerald.See all Product description
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“Rules of Civility” like his other work is beautifully written and draws you into the epoch with engaging characters that you create a connection with.
Overall I enjoyed “A Gentleman in Moscow” more. Indeed I’d rate it as one of my favourite novels alongside William Boyd’s “Any Human Heart”. However this is a cracking read and highly recommended.
I look forward to reading future works by this talented storyteller.
Apart from the mechanics of plot and character, the writing, as with the later book, is beautiful - stylish, descriptive and fresh. That kept me reading. But ultimately the holes in the book - character, plot, structure - left me feeling very disappointed.
When we first meet Katey Kontent and Evelyn Ross it is the last night of 1937 in New York. They are young, working girls, out to enjoy themselves. Into their lives comes Tinker Grey - also young, but obviously wealthy and from a totally different side of New York then the one they know. They become a threesome, although as everybody knows, a threesome never lasts. Not wishing to give away the plot, Eve and Tinker somehow become a couple of sorts, and Kate is left with her dead end job as Eve heads out into the life of the rich and playful.
This is really Kate's story and what a story it is. She is an intelligent, resourceful and brave heroine - willing to explore life to the full and take chances. We meet the rich of Manhattan - the power players and those who have no need to work. Kate needs her wits about her if she is not to be manipulated and as she attempts to make a life for herself, now she has been left behind.
I find it hard to believe that this is a debut book, as the writing is so self assured, wonderful, atmospheric and well plotted. And, as other reviewers have pointed out, this is not light and fluffy chick lit. Nothing could be further from that - this is a great novel and must easily be one of the best books about New York that I have read, for the city is easily amongst the characters that populate this novel. It is not a book that you read and forget or discard. It has a pride of place on my shelf, waiting for other books by this author, who is certainly one to watch. However, for now, just enjoy this and be thankful that it was written.
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