Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility

4.02 (107,463 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'Fabulous' Observer
'Achingly stylish' Guardian
'Irresistible' Daily Telegraph
'Gripping' The Sunday Times


In a jazz bar on the last night of 1937,
watching a quartet because she couldn't afford to see the whole ensemble,
there were certain things Katey Kontent knew:

the location of every old church in Manhattan
how to sneak into the cinema
how to type eighty words a minute, five thousand an hour, and nine million a year
and that if you can still lose yourself in a Dickens novel then everything is going to be fine.

By the end of the year she'd learned:

how to live like a redhead
and insist upon the very best;
that riches can turn to rags in the trip of a heartbeat,
chance encounters can be fated, and the word 'yes' can be a poison.

That's how quickly New York City comes about, like a weathervane, or the head of a cobra. Time tells which.



'A delicious and memorable novel that will leave you wistful - and desperate for a martini.' Stylist

'Elegance and hardship drip off the page' Daily Mail
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 129 x 197 x 23mm | 239g
  • Sceptre
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1444708872
  • 9781444708875
  • 13,437

Review quote

Impossibly glamorous, RULES OF CIVILITY takes in 1930s New York with a dry martini and a side order of sharp-tongued wit. with vintage period detail verging on the nostalgic, it's a stylish tale of ambitious, wisecracking gals on the make in Manhattan...With love at its heart (love lost, regained, betrayed and shared), this book is so much more than the sum of its parts as it takes in ambition, manner and the American Dream along the way. Where it excels is not letting the style become its only substance...Rules of Civility has the feel of a classic, one that's as rich in story as in nostalgia and love for New York...With crackling prose, a compelling story and a beautiful way with words, this clever and sassy book is not only dull of charm, it's shockingly good fun too. * Fiction Uncovered * Rattles along at the pace of a riotous night out in the book's vividly evoked Manhattan. It is atmospheric, satisfying Great Gatsby-lite complete, with fish-out-of-water first-person narration, country house parties and a fabulously wealthy male protagonist who is not all that he seems. * Ben Hoyle, The Times * 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. * San Francisco Chronicle * This book feels special...Towles was born to write * Sun 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 * ...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 * 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 * Because who doesn't want to be transported to Thirties Manhattan? * Lucy Mangan * 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 * 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 * Terrific. A smart, witty, charming dry-martini of a novel * David Nicholls, author of One Day * The summer's must-read: gripping and beautiful * Sunday Times * Achingly stylish...witty, slick production, replete with dark intrigue, period details, and a suitably Katharine Hepburn-like heroine * Guardian * 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 *
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About Amor Towles

Amor Towles has written fiction which has appeared in The Paris Review. This is his first novel. He lives in New York.
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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)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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