Rules of Civility
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Rules of Civility

4.02 (107,463 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 579 pages
  • 147 x 216 x 30mm | 635g
  • Waterville, ME, United States
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • Large type / large print edition
  • 1410443248
  • 9781410443243
  • 58,259

Review quote

"The new novel we couldn't put down...in the crisp, noirish prose of the era, Towles portrays complex relationships in a city that is at once melting pot and elitist enclave - and a thoroughly modern heroine who fearlessly claims her place in it."
-"O, the Oprah Magazine"
"This very good first novel about striving and surviving in Depression- era Manhattan deserves attention...The great strength of "Rules of Civility" is in the sharp, sure-handed...evocation of Manhattan in the late '30s."
-"Wall Street Journal"
"Put on some Billie Holiday, pour a dry martini and immerse yourself in the eventful life of Katey Kontent...[Towles] clearly knows the privileged world he's writing about, as well as the vivid, sometimes reckless characters who inhabit it."
-"People"
"Even the most jaded New Yorker can see the beauty in Amor Towles' "Rules of Civility," the antiqued portrait of an unlikely jet set making the most of Manhattan."
-"The San Francisco
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Rating details

107,463 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 33% (35,761)
4 42% (45,123)
3 19% (20,815)
2 4% (4,540)
1 1% (1,224)
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