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Rules of Civility Paperback – Jan 5 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Sceptre (Jan. 5 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444708872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444708875
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #166,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Myckyee on July 28 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 By Heather Negahdar on Sept. 22 2011
Format: Hardcover
"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 By Burchy on June 9 2013
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 By B. Kautz on July 18 2012
Format: Paperback
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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By Laraine on Dec 16 2013
Format: Hardcover
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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