Laura's Reviews > Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
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's review
May 05, 2012

it was amazing
Read in April, 2012

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles might possibly take over my personal First Place for a modern novel. Previously, that title was held by Lord of the Dance by Andrew Greeley. These are wildly different sorts of books, but they share some things that are absolutely required for a work to be highly praised (as both were by critics), eminently readable and enjoyable, and enlightening about the time/place/characters concerned.

Towles' book was beautifully written, with just enough attention to luscious descriptions to offset the spare quality of the action, stretched over a relatively long period. He caused this reader, at least, to care just enough about the characters worth caring about, and to be able to dismiss those who were minor, non-contributory. It was a most delightful read, the sort one wants to both hurry up and finish, and savor.

It is so much easier to write volumes about books that fall short of their goal. On that basis, I think I'll stop because Rules of Civility met and exceeded anything one could ask of a modern mainstream novel.

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