Rules of Civility

Amor Towles, Author
Amor Towles. Viking, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-670-02269-4
Reviewed on: 03/14/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-101-50766-7
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-101-51706-2
Hardcover - 335 pages - 978-1-4447-0884-4
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-4447-0885-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-93453-6
Paperback - 335 pages
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-242927-3
Hardcover - 579 pages - 978-1-4104-4324-3
Paperback - 335 pages - 978-1-4447-0887-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-93452-9
Paperback - 577 pages - 978-1-59413-551-4
Hardcover - 496 pages - 978-1-4074-9349-7
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In his smashing debut, Towles details the intriguing life of Katherine Kontent and how her world is upended by the fateful events of 1938. Kate and her roommate, Evelyn Ross, have moved to Manhattan for its culture and the chance to class up their lives with glamour—be it with jazz musicians, trust fund lotharios, or any man with a hint of charm who will pay for dinner and drinks. Both Kate and Evelyn are enamored of sophisticated Tinker Grey, who they meet in a jazz club; he appears to be another handsome, moneyed gent, but as the women vie for his affection, a tragic event may seal a burgeoning romance's fate. New York's wealthy class is thick with snobbery, unexpected largesse, pettiness, jealousies, and an unmistakable sense of who belongs and who does not, but it's the undercurrent of unease—as with Towles's depiction of how the upper class can use its money and influence to manipulate others' lives in profoundly unsavory ways—that gives his vision depth and complexity. His first effort is remarkable for its strong narrative, original characters and a voice influenced by Fitzgerald and Capote, but clearly true to itself. (July)
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