Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility

[a Novel]

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
44
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From the New York Times -bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow , a "sharply stylish" (Boston Globe) novel of a young woman in post-Depression era New York who suddenly finds herself thrust into high society.

On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society--where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.

With its sparkling depiction of New York's social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike.

Publisher: New York : Viking, c2011
ISBN: 9780670022694
Branch Call Number: TOWL
Characteristics: 335 p. : ill

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AL_ANNAL Jun 23, 2017

In depression era New York City (1938) some live in abject poverty and others still revel in Jazz Age luxuries. The characters here are bright, quick, optimistic, stylish. By the end the reader may question which character's life is lived by "The Rules of Civility."

n
nannerl
Apr 08, 2017

A bit of a slow start, but soon enough I was drawn in to 1938 New York, with all the attitudes and mannerisms of the time effortlessly woven into the story by the author. It reads like life - one thing happens, then the next and the next, and sooner than you expect your life has been shaped by all your past experiences and acquaintances and you're on the road in a direction you would have never expected. And old acquaintances are not forgotten, but having made their contribution, become faded memories.

w
wyenotgo
Apr 08, 2017

Above all, this book is about a time and a place: New York, 1938. Everything proceeds from that. Towles conjures up a wonderful cast of characters that could only exist in their particular form within the aegis of that iconic city and during that brief hiatus between the Depression and WW2. Best and most delightful of all is the style, both the style of the prose and the style of life embraced by those characters.
Midway through the book I found that it was losing momentum as Kate's life began to go sideways and I was regretting the loss of the sparkle that had pervaded the first few chapters; but then I understood that this dimming of the lights was entirely deliberate. Reality was creeping in, the party hats were beginning to look a bit tawdry and the book took on more substance.
This is not a simple story even though some reviewers have found it lacking in plot; it's a story of self-discovery, a re-assessment of values, expectations, goals.
One final word: a rebuke to those reviewers who question Towles' audacity in writing in the first person what is so thoroughly and intimately a woman's story. I think he has accomplished it brilliantly. Kate is utterly believable; her personality will stay with me for a long time.
A delightful read.

amf_0 Feb 23, 2017

Enjoyed immensely. Evocative of the Depression era, New York centred, lovely writing

m
mayawally
Jan 15, 2017

Way better than expected. I only read it because I have some time on my hands and I saw this on a "best of" list. I liked the characters and the fact that it didn't talk about how depressing the Depression was a plus in my mind. It was a great story and made me want to go to NYC again.

AL_ANGELINA Sep 22, 2016

One of those books you'll want to read again. Beautifully written story about New York City in the 1930's. It has the same nostalgic feeling of "The Great Gatsby".

abruzzo79 Sep 10, 2016

"...look at the world with amazement....the wing of a dragonfly. The tale of a shoeshine. Walking through an unsullied hour with an unsullied heart."

k
KJ_9
May 04, 2016

I read this about a year ago now and parts of it has still stuck with me. Interesting story, wonderfully written. Would recommend to anyone!

m
mikkisgrandma
Jul 13, 2015

An excellent read--so very well written. I can't wait for this author's next endeavor

m
Matisse
Feb 26, 2015

Enjoyable read. I love stories about New York City. I loved the protagonist's ambition. Oh to be alive in Manhattan in the late '30's.

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