Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review Friday: Rules of Civility

On New Year's Eve 1937, a chance meeting with Tinker Grey changes the lives of Eve Ross and Katey Kontent forever.  Looking back on that year Katey recalls the lives, loves, friends, and enemies that crossed paths in that city of crossroads, Manhattan.    
Rules of Civility is author Amor Towles first novel, and it is amazing.  The story is descriptive, witty, complex, and surprising.   And, just like Agatha Christie, Towles "doles out [his] little surprises at the carefully calibrated pace of a nanny dispensing sweets to the children in her care" (p. 251).  Reviews elsewhere have gushed over Towles's descriptions of Manhattan (practically a character in the story) and the ease with which he writes his first-person female narrative.  They are all true.   
I listened to the audio, narrated by Rebecca Lowman. The audio treatment was excellent, but I reached a point when I couldn't wait for my next commute to finish the tale, so I picked up the print copy and finished the last 100 pages in one sitting.
 Read alikes:
The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow by Thea Astley
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
Ask Alice by D. J. Taylor
Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
And, for reasons that I won't explain, this story put me in mind of, and in the mood for, an evening with the film Breakfast at Tiffany's.

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