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Rules of Civility [Paperback]

Amor Towles
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Paperback. Pub Date :2012-01-05 Pages: 352 Language: English Publisher: Hodder Stoughton WHAT THEY SAID about RULES OF CIVILITY: Everything about this novel. set in 1930s New York. is achingly stylish - from the authors name to the slinky jacket design. Katey Kontent. daughter of Russian immigrants. and Evie Ross. from the sleepy midwest. are an ambitious. wisecracking pair who. despite lack of money and connections. aim to set the city alight. A fortuitous meeting with the apparently wealthy Tinker Grey on New Years Eve. 1937. will change the course of both their lives. - Guardian If you want shopping at Bendels. gin martinis at a debutantes mansion and jazz bands playing until 3am. RULES OF CIVILITY has it all and more ... While youre lost in the whirl of silk stockings. furs and hip flasks. all you care about is what Katey Kontent does next. Another one bartender. please....

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put this on your must-read list! July 28 2011
By Myckyee
I don't read a lot of ebooks - I'm very much a paperback reader. With ebooks I lose some sense of where I am in a book by not being able to look at it physically. I find it easier to flip back to find some plot point that I want to check or the context in which a character first appeared. So, when I was offered a chance to review Rules of Civility by Amor Towles in an ebook format, I hesitated. But drawn in by the book's description on the author's website I took a chance. I am so glad I did. Despite the format, I adored this book!

The setting is Manhattan in the late 1930's. The threat of the Second World War is in the distant future and life, for the most part, is good. The reader sees what New York City was like during that era through the eyes of a young woman surviving quite well on her own in that large metropolis. The author did a fantastic job describing the culture of the young and carefree in an exciting city - so much so that the city takes on a character all of its own. Cocktails, bars, apartments, neighbourhoods and iconic buildings all figure prominently in this book. If you love the romance and cultural aura of New York City, you'll find plenty of it here.

I really liked the protagonist, Kate Kontent. She-s a well-written character - smart, sassy, independent and with a good dose of subtle humour thrown in. She's isn't perfect; I picked up hints of envy in some situations and loneliness in others. It's not that much was said, but rather shown (which I think is one of the trickiest talents a writer can develop and Amor Towles has it in spades). But Kate isn't a wallflower; she acts on her instincts so that when she isn't happy about something she takes steps to change it. And this is one of the reasons why the story moved along quickly and flowed so well.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFULLY DONE Sept. 22 2011
"Gaze not on the blemishes or marks of others and ask not how they came by them. What you speak in secret to your friend deliver not before others."

Rules of Civility or should we say rules of Decent Behaviour was absorbing and held my attention well, throughout.
Depicting New York's social strata, this book entertains, shocks, makes you laugh and perhaps some may cry.

Of the young and Upper Crust of the Jazz era, we are introduced to Kate Kontent of a Wall Street secretarial pool and her boarding partner, the beautiful Evelyn Ross who meets up on New Year's Eve quite by accident with Tinker Grey a handsome rich banker.

The threesome stick together for a time turning New York and everything else in the way upside down as they paint the town and country various shades of red.
This book is a page-turner and should not be missed for the fun and amusement it brings to the deep heart.
Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Heather Marshall Negahdar September 22nd, 2011
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow but steady June 9 2013
By Burchy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found it slow going at the beginning but as I needed to read it for book club, I persevered. The cover descriptions of the protagonist fell short- not as humorous or quirky as one is led to believe. I grew to care about some of the characters though and that has always been the mark of a good story for me. It will definitely appeal to those who like the art of language; those who like plot and movement, maybe not so much.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, delectable, transforming . . . July 18 2012
Absolutely joyful read. The description of NY in the late 1930's takes you there and you do not want to come home. I found myself marking passages just because the language was so delightful to form in my mouth. On page 1: "In the 1950's, America had picked up the globe by its heels and shaken the change from its pockets." Can hardly wait for Mr. Towles' next work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely debut novel Dec 16 2013
By Laraine
A friend of mine recommended this book to me, saying it was one of the best books she had read all year. I enjoyed it, but due to the sheer volume of books that I read, I wouldn't use that superlative although it was a very good read. Taking us back to the late 1930's, Towles has evoked New York City at that time. His characters, particularly Katey, are well developed and it isn't hard to develop an affinity for her. Katey's journey from the secretarial pool into high society is a lovely story that had me turning pages to see where it would go. I look forward to any future books by Towles.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The bohemians, immigrants and struggling artists who once leant so much flavor to New York city have long since left and been replaced by the wealthy, very wealthy and obscenely rich. Much to the satisfaction of his readers, Amor Towles has transported us to a New York of the late 1930s and a world that once was. Katey Kontent rents a room in a house where she shares space with Evelyn Ross. The two frequent jazz bars where they meet Tinker Grey. With his help, vistas are open to them and a life they would never have though possible. Unfortunately, even a life fulfilled beyond expectations can still bring with it disappointments. “Rules of Civility” celebrates a lifestyle long gone and with it a feeling of nostalgia for adventures provided by a city inhabited by the nouveau riche, the blue blood American aristocrat, the fresh off the boat immigrant, the struggling artist, the talented musician, and the idealistic writer. As our characters mature, so must New York and the reader is left with a nostalgia for lost youth and simpler times. If only by following rules such those of civility, everything in life would turn out okay. "Rules of Civility" is a terrific book that provides a nostalgic journey back to simpler and more dangerous times that some would love to relive and others forget.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a beautifully written book. I did not want it to end.
Published 3 months ago by Anne Turney
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable book, quite a surprise
I loved this book. It progressed slowly but was so enjoyable; I found the book comforting. I was not expecting such a book from an ex-banker, and it's a first novel. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Aggie G
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, entertaining, intriguing, delightful and very clever
I read this book on vacation last winter and could not put it down. Every page spurred me on. The characters and the dialogue are first rate - believable, funny, touching, real. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Quiet Mind
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The setting and the characters are so well created! I recommend this book .
Published 18 months ago by Anamaria
5.0 out of 5 stars A new classic.
The writing style of this author is wonderful. A simple, well written story that is of the calibre of The Great Gatsby. Loved it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Busygirl
3.0 out of 5 stars Rules of Civility
Although interesting, it was not my type of book. I don't think I would recommend it to any of my friends.
Published 19 months ago by Joan Thorkelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book in years
Witty, clever, fast talking characters take us through the social strata of the haves and wannabes in New York at the end of the depression. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Ladicath
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Club Treat
Although I did not pick this book for our community book club, I quite enjoyed it. It's Great Gatsby quality had my attention - the characters, the relationships, the rise and fall... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Michelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Fitzgerald in the making...
Other reviewers here have done a thorough job of describing the plot, characters and ephemeral '30s era New York, all of which Amor Towles captures so eloquently. Read more
Published on Oct. 6 2012 by Nicole Findlay
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read!
I love this book! I can't explain it! So realistic! It's a story about love and friendship! It's a story about what happens when life happens!
Published on July 30 2012 by A. Tolibas
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