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Rules of Civility Paperback – Jan 5 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Sceptre (Jan. 5 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444708872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444708875
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #378,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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....

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By Jill Meyer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 2 2011
Format: Hardcover
Looking back in one's life can be triggered by a chance glance at a photograph. Visual reminders of a person or place can - if the subject of the picture was of importance - take you back in an instant to both painful and joyous times. Amor Towles first novel, "Rules of Civility" is the story of one such journey back for Katharine Kontent, who, while viewing a photo exhibit by Walker Evans in 1966, spots two pictures of a young man she had known and loved in the late 1930's. One picture in the exhibit was of the young man in prosperous circumstances and the other was of him in much poorer ones. As Kontent tells her husband about her life in those years, memories triggered by the pictures, she talks about the young man - Tinker Grey - and her best friend, Eve Ross, and the other friends and acquaintances she had then.

"Rules" is written in the first person, for the most part, and that voice is of Katherine Kontent.

Katharine was a social chameleon. Born from poor Russian immigrant parents on the Lower East Side, the reader doesn't learn til the end of the book her exact background. But Katey is a smart gal, a "comer" in terms of social advancement, and she wants very much to fit in with the Social Register crowd. She has a respected job in a law firm as a secretary and she manages to promote herself and her best friend and roommate, Eve Ross. A "meet cute" moment by Katey and Eve with Tinker in a bar launches them both into a wealthy group of 20-somethings. She meets - and melds - with many of the crowd and she tells their stories, along with hers. Most people weren't what they first seemed to Katey, but that's true of most of society. We all put on a "face" and tell a "story" of who or what we'd like to be, even if we're not quite that person.
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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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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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