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Rules Of Civility (LARGE PRINT EDITION) Hardcover – Large Print, December 2, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 13,583 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The new novel we couldn't put down...in the crisp, noirish prose of the era, Towles portrays complex relationships in a city that is at once melting pot and elitist enclave - and a thoroughly modern heroine who fearlessly claims her place in it."
-"O, the Oprah Magazine"
"This very good first novel about striving and surviving in Depression- era Manhattan deserves attention...The great strength of "Rules of Civility" is in the sharp, sure-handed...evocation of Manhattan in the late '30s."
-"Wall Street Journal"
"Put on some Billie Holiday, pour a dry martini and immerse yourself in the eventful life of Katey Kontent...[Towles] clearly knows the privileged world he's writing about, as well as the vivid, sometimes reckless characters who inhabit it."
-"People"
"Even the most jaded New Yorker can see the beauty in Amor Towles' "Rules of Civility," the antiqued portrait of an unlikely jet set making the most of Manhattan."
-"The San Francisco

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 1410443248
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Thorndike Press; Large type / Large print edition (December 2, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 369 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9781410443243
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1410443243
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.5 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.75 x 1 x 8.75 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 13,583 ratings

About the author

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Amor Towles is the author of New York Times bestsellers RULES OF CIVILITY and A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW. The two novels have collectively sold more than four million copies and have been translated into more than thirty languages. His new novel, THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY, will be released on October 5, 2021. His short stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Granta, and Vogue. Having worked as an investment professional for more than twenty years, Towles now devotes himself fulltime to writing in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
13,583 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Moment When All Is Possible
Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2018
Do you recall a time, however brief, when some people, some places and you seem to converge with a sense that something special was happening that could go on and on? And yet, you were so caught up in the effortless unfolding of events that you were unaware of the magic until it was gone.

Amor Towles’ 2011 novel, “Rules of Civility”, is his homage to 1938 Manhattan, its environs and a few youthful inhabitants. It blends sly humor with engaging discovery about each other and themselves. And leaves at least one mystery unsolved.

The story is related through the eyes of a young, scrambling woman in her twenties from Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach starting her career in a Manhattan law firm secretarial pool and living with similar women in Mrs. Martingale’s boardinghouse. It is New Year’s Eve 1937 as Katey Kontent and her roommate, Eve Ross, meet a handsome, affluent-looking, not-for-long stranger at a Greenwich Village jazz club.

They quickly exchange names and his is Theodore Grey, though “My friends call me Tinker.” And Tinker it is for the rest of the tale.

Towles presents a wonderful sense of Manhattan as a feast for excitement and adventure from the Village to Midtown, including the original watering hole of the St. Regis Hotel’s King Cole Room with the fabled Maxfield Parish mural, to uptown apartment suites overlooking Central Park West. And it seems like the Great Gatsby has met the Gold Diggers of 1938.

Events move quickly and the circle of friends and acquaintances swells to include other denizens of Gotham and the tippling affluent described with Art Deco wit: “Slurring is the cursive of speech, I said. Eckshactly, he said.”

And one of my favorite tell-all exchanges captures the initial sense of the story: “I probably shouldn’t tell you this, I said… Kay-Kay, those are my six favorite words in the English language.”

Through the four seasons of 1938 Katey expands her horizons and moves from the world of law to the intense, demanding realm of society magazine publishing for which she seems better suited. And her friends shift their courses, including Tinker for whom Katey will always have a sense of tristesse but no regrets.

The opening ploy is a brilliant use of pictures at a 1966 exhibition Katey and her husband are attending. It is here she sees two black-and-white photographs of Tinker taken at different times with a hidden camera. And the door opens to her memories, which we come to share.

“The Rules of Civility” is sunlight on moving water, glistening at first, then, the sun moves on and we are left to savor a fading glimmer.
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Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

JJ
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching tale that is beautifully written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 13, 2017
62 people found this helpful
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Pablo
1.0 out of 5 stars right when he said that "everyone has one good novel in them
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 24, 2018
32 people found this helpful
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Tony Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful surprise
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 11, 2019
19 people found this helpful
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AC
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK - nothing like as good as AGIM
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 10, 2019
10 people found this helpful
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Graham Eason
2.0 out of 5 stars Aims for target. Misses.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 1, 2018
17 people found this helpful
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