Ava Butzu's Reviews > Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
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's review
Jul 14, 2012

it was amazing
Read from February 19 to March 01, 2012

How do I love thee, let me count the ways. I never thought another author after F. Scott Fitzgerald could pen a character as subtle and quietly perceptive as Nick Carraway. Towles' narrator, Katie Kontent, is, in fact, the female version of Nick, one decade later. This book is gorgeous, mortifying, compelling, and melancholy in one swirl of varied jaunts into the upper crust of New York City. Although I want to race ahead to see how it will develop, I need to savor every party, gathering, and coincidental encounter. Each combination of characters creates its own chemistry that teaches the narrator (and the reader) important lessons about what we should - and should not - value in our lives.

Also, I'm a fan of Towles' use of "Great Expectations" overtly (as well as Agatha Christie books) and the themes of Gatsby to re-examine the presumptuousness of the American dream. Life is, indeed, a mystery, but the way that our lives play out will not meet our expectations. Perhaps, though, as the book suggests, we can achieve precisely what is suited to who we are.

I can't stop thinking about its literary merit - the seamless intersection of compelling yet all-to-real themes with flawed but well-meaning characters with finely-interwoven literary allusions made this book soar to the top of my best books list.

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Reading Progress

02/24/2012 page 184

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Geoffrey Mrs. Butzu -- I just bought this book today! I'm excited to read it when I finish the Capote.

message 2: by Ava (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ava Butzu Geoffrey wrote: "Mrs. Butzu -- I just bought this book today! I'm excited to read it when I finish the Capote."
Geoffrey - I'm so excited that you're going to read it. I actually e-mailed the author after reading it b/c I loved it so. He's coming to Petoskey for a book tour and I wish I could go!

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