Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility

Book - 2011
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"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."--Syndetics.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2011
ISBN: 9780670022694
0670022691
9780143121169
Branch Call Number: FICTION TOW
Characteristics: 335 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: Staff picks

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WVMLStaffPicks Aug 29, 2014

This sparkling novel set in Depression-era New York City chronicles the formative years of twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent, the quick-witted orphaned daughter of Russian immigrants, as she works her way to becoming a successful magazine editor in the cultural hub of America.


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m
mikearmstrong149
May 29, 2019

Tuesday September 24 Meeting

n
nalahblueberry5
May 05, 2019

Loved it

a
amanoletters99
May 02, 2019

Was I reading the same book as the other commentators? I did not find this story engaging. If this author's writing is to be considered stylistic, well then, count me out. I used the 50-page rule on this one and struggled to make it that far. Did I miss something? Rubbish, I say, utter rubbish, ughhh...

g
GladstoneReader
Jan 26, 2019

Read this a few months after reading Towles' Gentleman in Moscow, which was a grand read with interesting characters and some Soviet Russian history. This reads very well as a first novel and it has the same mental flavor as Gentleman. I have a particularly fondness for novels that that illuminate the dignity that people can aspire to and achieve. My daughter has this book on her TBR list and I'm looking forward to her views on how accurately Towles portrays a female main character. It's my experience that males do poorly when trying to depict a female protagonist while women authors are better at portraying male protagonists. Plus, the late 1930s in New York City had such grand music, clubs, clothes, and vitality.

e
ellenorndorf
Dec 04, 2018

Excellent

k
kingsly_1
Dec 03, 2018

Having read His A Gentleman in Moscow Which I found extremely engaging I am looking forward to Rules of Civility

SkokieStaff_Steven Sep 26, 2018

Amor Towles’ debut novel “Rules of Civility” is an accomplished work of art. Its prose is polished to a high gloss, its dialogue is snappy, its structure is elegant. The plot proceeds at a leisurely pace so that the reader can linger over Towles’ stylish writing. Even the design of the book is striking, right down to the font on the chapter headings. This attention to the book’s surface is appropriate for its story is concerned with surfaces. It follows a group of social strivers in 1938 Manhattan who infiltrate the glittering society of their time in large part because they know how to present themselves well. What the book lacks is the tragic sense that pervades works like “The Great Gatsby” or “The House of Mirth” to which Towles’ novel of manners is sometimes compared. It’s as if Towles fell so much in love with his own characters that he couldn’t bear for anything truly bad to happen to any one of them.

TechLibrarian Aug 29, 2018

This isn't the sort of book I usually read, but I took a chance on it since everyone seems to be loving A Gentleman in Moscow, and I was waiting for an available copy. I was really surprised to find myself quickly pulled into Rules of Civility. I liked the narrator's voice a lot, and that helped; I think reading the back and forth banter on the page wouldn't have been as fun as listening to her performance. As the plot moved along, sometimes a bit slowly, I came to really like the characters themselves. And, I really liked that the main character was a reader, so there were lots of references to famous books and authors peppered throughout. I don't think this book is for everyone but I'd recommend it as a read-alike to The Great Gatsby, or Bel Canto, as the writing is similarly lyrical, and it's also set in a similar time period.

m
maipenrai
Aug 16, 2018

Though not as good as "A Gentleman in Moscow" this novel has excellent character development. Amor Towles is very literate!! It was so nice to read a book that did not have incorrect grammar in sentence after sentence. Highly recommend this author. Kristi & Abby Tabby

s
StoriedLife
Jun 14, 2018

The book captures a certain feel for the period but it seems more like a Hollywood version and is weakened by an unbelievable narrator. “Kate” starts out mentioning that class differences don’t go unnoticed in the East, but she never finds herself in any difficulty negotiating the steep climb. The author puts too much clunky historical detail in her mouth, and her character comes off as too cool a customer by half. Also, some scenes would seem right at home in a Jacqueline Susann tale.

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