Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility

Large Print - 2011
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A New York Times Bestseller -- An elegant and captivating debut novel, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising twenty-five-year-old named Katey Kontent, a young woman with an uncommon sense of purpose. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of 1938 New York City society.
Publisher: Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2011.
ISBN: 9781410443243
Branch Call Number: Large Print Fiction
Characteristics: 579 p.; 23 c.m.


From Library Staff

List - Mary Kay's Picks
mko123 Aug 02, 2018

By the author of The Gentleman from Moscow, this book takes you into a world of privilege and class in Manhatten. A working class girl from Brooklyn invites a handsome, refined young man, sitting a a nearby table, to join her and her girlfriend in an up-scale nightclub. This so-called random eve... Read More »

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May 29, 2019

Tuesday September 24, 2019 Conifer Book Club

May 05, 2019

Loved it

May 02, 2019

Was I reading the same book as the other commentators? I did not find this story engaging. If this author's writing is to be considered stylistic, well then, count me out. I used the 50-page rule on this one and struggled to make it that far. Did I miss something? Rubbish, I say, utter rubbish, ughhh...

Jan 26, 2019

Read this a few months after reading Towles' Gentleman in Moscow, which was a grand read with interesting characters and some Soviet Russian history. This reads very well as a first novel and it has the same mental flavor as Gentleman. I have a particularly fondness for novels that that illuminate the dignity that people can aspire to and achieve. My daughter has this book on her TBR list and I'm looking forward to her views on how accurately Towles portrays a female main character. It's my experience that males do poorly when trying to depict a female protagonist while women authors are better at portraying male protagonists. Plus, the late 1930s in New York City had such grand music, clubs, clothes, and vitality.

Dec 04, 2018


Dec 03, 2018

Having read His A Gentleman in Moscow Which I found extremely engaging I am looking forward to Rules of Civility

SkokieStaff_Steven Sep 26, 2018

Amor Towles’ debut novel “Rules of Civility” is an accomplished work of art. Its prose is polished to a high gloss, its dialogue is snappy, its structure is elegant. The plot proceeds at a leisurely pace so that the reader can linger over Towles’ stylish writing. Even the design of the book is striking, right down to the font on the chapter headings. This attention to the book’s surface is appropriate for its story is concerned with surfaces. It follows a group of social strivers in 1938 Manhattan who infiltrate the glittering society of their time in large part because they know how to present themselves well. What the book lacks is the tragic sense that pervades works like “The Great Gatsby” or “The House of Mirth” to which Towles’ novel of manners is sometimes compared. It’s as if Towles fell so much in love with his own characters that he couldn’t bear for anything truly bad to happen to any one of them.

TechLibrarian Aug 29, 2018

This isn't the sort of book I usually read, but I took a chance on it since everyone seems to be loving A Gentleman in Moscow, and I was waiting for an available copy. I was really surprised to find myself quickly pulled into Rules of Civility. I liked the narrator's voice a lot, and that helped; I think reading the back and forth banter on the page wouldn't have been as fun as listening to her performance. As the plot moved along, sometimes a bit slowly, I came to really like the characters themselves. And, I really liked that the main character was a reader, so there were lots of references to famous books and authors peppered throughout. I don't think this book is for everyone but I'd recommend it as a read-alike to The Great Gatsby, or Bel Canto, as the writing is similarly lyrical, and it's also set in a similar time period.

Aug 16, 2018

Though not as good as "A Gentleman in Moscow" this novel has excellent character development. Amor Towles is very literate!! It was so nice to read a book that did not have incorrect grammar in sentence after sentence. Highly recommend this author. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Jun 14, 2018

The book captures a certain feel for the period but it seems more like a Hollywood version and is weakened by an unbelievable narrator. “Kate” starts out mentioning that class differences don’t go unnoticed in the East, but she never finds herself in any difficulty negotiating the steep climb. The author puts too much clunky historical detail in her mouth, and her character comes off as too cool a customer by half. Also, some scenes would seem right at home in a Jacqueline Susann tale.

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