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Rules of Civility

Towles, Amor

(Book - 2011)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Rules of Civility
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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.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2011
ISBN: 9780670022694
0670022691
Branch Call Number: FICTION TOWLES 2011
Characteristics: 335 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Comment by: multcolib_heathere Dec 02, 2014

Sit back with a drink and loll the passages over with your tongue. This is one unpredictable journey.

List - 10 years of books by: multcolib_lauralw May 22, 2014

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.

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.

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.

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. "[R]emarkable fo... Read More »


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Beautifully written and read!
I would highly recommend this novel.

Dec 02, 2014
  • multcolib_heathere rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Sit back with a drink and loll the passages over with your tongue. This is one unpredictable journey.

A magnificent debut novel. The writing is exquisite. I have recommended this book to all of my friends and they have all actuality thanked me and several have asked me to make future recommendations.

Sep 19, 2014
  • pattyloucor67 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Interesting story of the post-Depression, pre-WWII social scene in New York City and a group of twenty-somethings whose lives revolve around wealth. Protagonist Kate, daughter of immigrants, moves up the corporate ladder, starting in the steno pool. Friend Evelyn, from Indiana, flirts with society. Tinker, a broker, comes into their lives and shows them a lifestyle they only dreamed of. When the three are involved in a serious auto crash, a chain of events unfolds that effects them all. The author is an eloquent writer, but I found it hard to care about the main characters, who were mostly shallow. The story reminded me too much of "The Great Gatsby", merely set a decade later. (And Gatsby was a much better book.)

Aug 29, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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.

May 07, 2014
  • johannarlewis rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Not a life changer, but very amusing. Great picture of NYC in the 1930s.

Mar 18, 2014
  • runfastread rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Well written, captivating, fun. Rules of Civility shows just how spur of the moment decisions can define your life forever. It has atmosphere and strong characters you will love, but also one of those true to life stories you don't soon forget.

Froth at its finest. Two fun-loving but broke office girls in 1930s Manhattan, a handsome, charming millionaire in need of company, and of course it all goes horribly wrong but our heroine, Katey Kontent, always finds something interesting going on. If the New Yorker published romance novels, this would be on the front of the catalog.

Sep 03, 2013
  • enedlav1966 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I waited a long time to read this. Read all the hype and didn't want to be disappointed. I have been reading a long time and it is rare that I can't put a book down. This book gripped me chapter by chapter and I felt that I was watching at a window this story unfold. Definitely take the time to read
it is worth it.

Jun 08, 2013
  • JimLoter rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I thoroughly enjoyed this jazz-era tale of the most significant year in Katey Kontent's life as she strives to rise above her humble origins in New York City while avoiding being beholden to anyone - or, as she puts it, trapped under anyone's thumb.

Fundamentally, the novel is about the challenges attaining success while remaining authentic and true to one's principles. George Washington's 110 "Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation" serves as either a blueprint for those seeking to construct a true civil life or a script for those merely want to act one out - and Katey learns it's difficult to tell the difference.

Many other reviewers have noted the hints toward Fitzgerald with Tinker serving as a sort of Gatsby-esque presence, and they have justly complimented the prose, atmosphere, dialog, and characterizations - all of which are smart and well-crafted.

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