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Preview — Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Rules of Civility
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 t ...more
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Availability: 25 copies available, 2705 people requesting
Giveaway dates: Jul 20 - Aug 01, 2016
Countries available: US
Format: Print Book
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The book is not without its flaws. I was only going to rate it four stars. After I read the epilogue ...more
The novel's preface opens in 1966, with a happily married couple attending a Walker Evans photography exhibition. An unlikely chance encounter stuns the woman, Katey--a pi ...more
“Rules of Civility” is a love story for a city. Specifically New York City during the last few years of the 1930’s. That’s not to say that Towles's characters aren’t fully realized. They are. In fact the dialog is outstanding. When a character opens their mouth you know immediately if they haunt the docks or Park Avenue. At one point the three principle protagonists are out larking and sneak into a Marx Brothers movie. Think of how exaggerated the accents and mannerisms ...more
I really should have put it down after page two, when the female, working-class narrator describes her roommate as follows:
"Eve was one of those surprising beauties from the American Midwest.
In New York it becomes so easy to assume that the city's most alluring women have flown in from Paris or Milan. But they're just a minority. A much larger covey hails from the stalwart states that begin with the letter I--like Iowa or Ind ...more
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
The road not taken by Robert Frost.
Katey Kontent stands on her balcony overlooking Central Park in 1966 and reflects on the journey of her life and the road she chose to walk more than twenty years ago. Vulnerable and voluptuous like Billie Holiday’s voice in “Autumn in New York”, Katey remembers the one and only genuine love of her life, the irresistible banker Tinker Grey. “For many are c ...more
This book is art deco, j ...more
But those little tidbits are not the bulk of this quite plotty pacey novel, which is a fa ...more
Basically: upper-class middle-aged man tries to write as/about working-class young woman. And fails. I think I enjoyed about the first twenty pages of this one, and the rest just fell utterly flat. First of all, the main character (with the terrible name of Katey Kontent) was completely unconvincing and not at all compelling. It's rare that men can write convincingly in a female voice, ...more
The setting of New York, the city would not normally make me clamor to read this book, but the 1938 New York that Rules of Civility depicts captured me right away. I can only believe this is due to Amor Towles ability as a writer. The story seems fairly simple. Two ...more
What were you afraid of as a kid?
What did you always want that your parents never gave you?
If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be?
If you could relive one year in your life, which one would you be?
Strangers in the night, two girls and a young man, meet and try to discover each other through a little game of 'what if ...' Sounds like my GR friend Dan and his Ongoing Security Question Quiz, or like that running gag in The Way We Were when Robert Redford picks up the best of every ...more
—Ugh. Tinker brought home all these novels by women as if that’s what I needed to get me back on my feet. He’s surrounded my bed with them. It’s as if he’s planning to brick me in. Isn’t there anything else?
Rules of Civility left me cold. I did not hate it, I did not like, I certainly did not love it as much as other people, including a lot of readers whose reviews I value, loved this book.
I don't even know whether it was the detache ...more
Kate is smart, funny, unpredictable and determined, all qualities that make a fine heroine. But she's also imperfect, which makes her infinitely more interesting. Likewise the characters that int ...more
My friend Cynthia mentions in her review three of the characters viewing a Marx Brothers movie to point out that this story is not one of stereotypes. It is also at this point that I hoped the novel wouldn't be just a series of madcap adventures by three smart, kooky t ...more
Katey Kontent, who really needed a subtler last name, is a 1930s single woman on her own working in a secretarial pool and living in a women's boardinghouse. On New Year's Eve, drinking with her roommate Eve, she meets the debonair Tinker Grey and becomes part of first one, then another, love triangl ...more
I decided to read "The Rules of Civility" because the blurb on the Amazon page mentioned a jazz quartet in 1937 and stated that the protagonist, Katey Kontent, knew " 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 the first chapter of a Dickens novel then everything is probably going to be fine". With those two lines, I had already identified with Ms Kontent, despite the fact that ...more
We have all lived through our twenties (or most of us through most of that decade). So much happens, so many decisions are made that impact our ...more
One of the most entertaining and enjoyable books I have ever read. I love the way this author writes.
The story actually opens in 1966 at the Museum of Modern Art during the first exhibit of portraits taken by a famous photographer, Walker Evans. He waited 25 years to show these photos to the public, out of respect for the subjects' privacy. The photos were taken with a hidden camera in NYC subway cars. Unaware they were being photographed, the subjects let their ...more
In her early 20’s, Katie moves from Brighton Beach to Manhattan, takes a job ...more
I love a New York setting, love this time period (1930s), and I love Katey Kontent. She could do no wrong in my boo ...more
For a first-time novelist who makes his living working in a Manhattan investment firm(!), Towles crafted a story that was f ...more
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