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Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Rules of Civility (edition 2011)

by Amor Towles

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,5232882,205 (4.02)1 / 292
A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a jazz bar on New Year's Eve 1938 catapults Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multi-millionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well, and a single-minded widow.
Title:Rules of Civility
Authors:Amor Towles
Info:Viking Adult, Hardcover, 335 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

  1. 71
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Cecilturtle)
  2. 50
    Atonement by Ian McEwan (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Atonement, like Rules of Civility, paints a picture of events that instantly turn characters' worlds upside down. Also set in the 1930s, it highlights the lingering opulence of the age and how that can disappear amid tragedy.
  3. 10
    Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser (sidiki)
  4. 11
    The Glass Room by Simon Mawer (trav)
    trav: Slightly different time period and tone, but the writing is very similar as are the dynamics. Both Rules of Civility and The Glass Room are very well written time-period books.
  5. 11
    Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (Limelite)
    Limelite: Another look at an ambitious woman making her own way in the world and with commentary on the society of her times.

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Showing 1-5 of 283 (next | show all)
It is a story about new york city in 1930s. The story telling is slow paced which is fair considering everything takes place in a short span of a year but at the same time too many things happen in the life of Ms Kontent. I am not too sure about this book. I guess I completely missed the premise and the soul of the story. I could not relate to either characters except maybe Eve. I was so looking forward to this book, that I am a little underwhelmed. ( )
  roopshree | Jan 12, 2023 |
Un vibrante homenaje a la Nueva York de los años treinta. Con diálogos afilados como puñales y un ritmo efervescente, Normas de cortesía relata el aprendizaje de una joven ambiciosa que lucha por sobrevivir en la ciudad de las mil caras, una selva donde las mejores oportunidades conviven con infinitas tentaciones y peligros.

En la Nochevieja de 1937, Katey Kontent, mecanógrafa en un bufete de abogados de Wall Street, y Eve Ross, su compañera de pensión, salen dispuestas a exprimir a fondo la libertad que promete Nueva York. Se dirigen a The Hotspot, un bar de tercera fila donde se toman el jazz lo bastante en serio como para que nadie moleste a dos chicas de buen ver, y donde la ginebra es suficientemente barata como para beber un dry martini cada hora. Cuando los tres dólares que llevaban se agotan, aparece en escena Theodore Tinker Gray, un joven cachorro de la aristocracia de Nueva Inglaterra, luciendo una sonrisa arrebatadora y un abrigo que Katey y Eve no podrían pagar con sus sueldos de un año. Juntos acabarán celebrando la llegada del año nuevo en Times Square, en una noche que marcará el principio de una amistad que transformará sus vidas. Este encuentro fortuito supondrá para Katey el acceso a círculos selectos de la sociedad neoyorquina, en los que, gracias a su agudeza, sus nervios de acero y su intelecto, logrará que se le abran muchas puertas. No obstante, inmersa en un universo resplandeciente, un mundo frívolo y disoluto habitado por personajes de dudosa procedencia, Katey tendrá que descubrir las reglas del juego para adaptarse a los desafíos de la gran ciudad.
  fewbach | Jan 11, 2023 |
not great
  j.alice | Jan 8, 2023 |
From mouse to heroine, witty and stylish New York ( )
  ChrisGreenDog | Jan 7, 2023 |
Not my kind of novel, I almost quit reading it after a few chapters, but I kind of liked it. In the beginning it really seemed like clever repartee from an old movie - done well, but not my kinda thing. But either the writing got a bit less stylized as it went on, or I just got used to it. ( )
  steve02476 | Jan 3, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 283 (next | show all)
In Towles’s first novel, “Rules of Civility,” his clever heroine, who grew up in Brooklyn as “Katya,” restyles herself in 1930s Manhattan as the more clubbable “Katey,” aspiring to all-American inclusion. As World War II gears up, raising the economy from bust to boom, Katey’s wit and charm lift her from a secretarial pool at a law firm to a high-profile assistant’s perch at a flashy new Condé Nast magazine. One night at the novel’s outset touches off the chain reaction that will produce both Katey’s career and her husband, and define her entire adult life. She’s swept into the satin-and-cashmere embrace of the smart set — blithe young people with names like Dicky and Bitsy and Bucky and Wallace — with their Oyster Bay mansions, their Adirondack camps, their cocktails at the St. Regis and all the fog of Fishers Island.
If there's a problem, it's this: the parallels with Breakfast at Tiffany's are perhaps a little too overt (glamorous but down-at-heel girl falls in love with wealthy but mysterious benefactor). But that's not exactly a complaint. This is a flesh-and-blood tale you believe in, with fabulous period detail. It's all too rare to find a fun, glamorous, semi-literary tale to get lost in.
Manhattan in the late 1930s is the setting for this saga of a bright, attractive and ambitious young woman whose relationships with her insecure roommate and the privileged Adonis they meet in a jazz club are never the same after an auto accident.
added by theeclecticreview | editKirkus Review (Jun 1, 2011)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Amor Towlesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lowman, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Payette, MaggieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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—Matthew 22:8-14
For Maggie, my comet
First words
On the night of October 4th, 1966, Val and I, both in late middle age, attended the opening of Many Are Called at the Museum of Modern Art—the first exhibit of the portraits taken by Walker Evans in the late 1930s on the New York City subways with a hidden camera.
As a quick aside, let me observe that in moments of high emotion -- whether they're triggered by anger or envy, humiliation or resentment -- if the next thing you're going to say makes you feel better, then it's probably the wrong thing to say. This is one of the finer maxims that I've discovered in life. And you can have it, since it's been of no use to me.
The 1930s . . .
what a grueling decade that was.
I was sixteen when the Depression began, just old enough to have had all my dreams and expectations duped by the effortless glamour of the twenties. It was as if America launched the Depression just to teach Manhattan a lesson.
It turned out to be a book of Washingtonia. The inscription on the front page indicated it was a present to Tinker fro his mother on the occasion of his fourteenth birthday. The volume had all the famous speeches and letters arranged in chronological order, but it led off with an aspirational list composed by the founder in his teenage years:
Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation. . . . There were 110 of them! And over half were underlined – one adolescent sharing another's enthusiasm for propriety across a chasm of 150 years. It was hard to decide which was sweeter – the fact that Tinker's mother had given it to him, or the fact that he kept it at hand.
Squirrels scattered before us among the tree trunks and yellow-tailed birds zipped from branch to branch. The air smelled of sumac and sassafras and other sweet-sounding words.
Right from the first, I could see a calmness in you – that sort of inner tranquility that they write about in books, but that almost no one seems to possess. I was wondering to myself: how does she do that? And I figured it could only come from having no regrets – from having made choices with . . . such poise and purpose. It stopped me in my tracks a little. And I just couldn't wait to see it again.
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A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a jazz bar on New Year's Eve 1938 catapults Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multi-millionaire, an Upper East Side ne'er-do-well, and a single-minded widow.

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