Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Whatever Wednesday - Rules of Civility

 Flat out - classy writer.  Every word is pristine. Every character is rich.  Amor Towles writes a great book, seemingly effortlessly.  And yet, when you read it, you realize how deep the book is - that the story has  so many layers. When one finishes, one could almost start again and dig deeper.  Rules of Civility is excellent. 

It's 1937. A jazz bar. (back blurb) Katey Kontent knew how to sneak into a cinema and steal silk stockings  from Bendel's; how to type eighty words a minute, five thousand an hour, nine million a year; and that if you can still lose yourself in a Dickens novel then everything is going to be fine. 

By the end of the year she'd learned: how to  live like a redhead and insist upon the very best, that riches can turn to rags in  the trip of a heartbeat, chance encounters can be fated, and the word "yes" can be a poison.  Oh NYC - so dangerous. 

I could pick out paragraphs from every page to use as examples of brilliant writing. Katey is so smart as our narrator.  Tinker will break your heart. Evelyn, oh you wish her well. And Wallace - dear stuttering sweetheart of a man.  The rules come from George Washington - how to be civil in any age. Easy to read. Tough to accomplish. 

Thanks Amor Towles for an excellent  book. 


  1. Hi Joanne - this sounds very interesting ... your last few sentences sealed it ... it arrives next week ... 2024 must be the year of reading! Cheers Hilary

    1. Always room for another book in the pile. Glad I can help your habit. Cheers to you and happy reading 2024.