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Rules of Civility

On sale

25th January 2023

Price: £24.99

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Selected: Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781399722155

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For fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, this a witty, elegant fairytale of New York, set in 1938.

In a New York City jazz bar on the last night of 1937, watching a quartet because she couldn’t afford to see the whole ensemble, there were certain things Katey Kontent knew:
· how to sneak into the cinema, and steal silk stockings from Bendel’s
· how to type eighty words a minute, five thousand an hour, and nine million a year
· 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’ll have learned:
· how to live like a redhead and insist upon the very best
· that chance encounters can be fated, and the word ‘yes’ can be a poison
· that riches can turn to rags in the trip of a heartbeat . . .

(P) 2011 Penguin Audio


New York Times Book Review
A fizzy, finely observed tale . . . It's also a loving evocation of the chance social alchemy of Village jazz joints, Wall Street coffee shops, Midtown Champagne palaces, and Lower East Side former speakeasies
Achingly stylish . . . [a] witty, slick production, replete with dark intrigue, period details, and a suitably Katharine Hepburn-like heroine
Amor Towles' stylish, elegant and deliberately anachronistic debut novel transports readers back to Manhattan in 1938 . . . Filled with snappy dialogue, sharp observations and an array of terrifically drawn characters . . . Glittering
Daily Mail
Elegance and hardship drip off the page
Sunday Times
Gripping and beautiful
If the unthinkable happened and I could never read another new work of fiction . . . I'd simply re-read this sparkling, stylish book, with yet another round of martinis as dry as the author's wit
Daily Telegraph
Irresistible . . . A cross between Dorothy Parker and Holly Golightly, Katey Kontent is a priceless narrator in her own right - the brains of a bluestocking with the legs of a flapper and the mores of Carrie Bradshaw
Good Housekeeping
It's the Depression, and a gal Friday with a mouth like Dorothy Parker's is dallying with the smart set . . . turns out she's not the only climber. A joyride through the ups and downs of 1930s high society
Jazz-age New York is the setting for martinis and girls on the make in Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. As glamorous as it is gut-wrenching, this is [a] must-read
The Times
Rules is more of an homage to an era, a ballsy treat of a novel with a pinch of mystery and oh so many neat one-liners
Set against a soundtrack of clinking glasses and saxophones, the book is a love letter to the city and the era, so confidently written it instantly plunges you into Thirties New York. Towles creates a narrative that sparkles with sentences so beautiful you'll stop and re-read them. A delicious and memorable novel that will leave you wistful - and desperate for a martini
David Nicholls, author of ONE DAY
Terrific. A smart, witty, charming dry martini of a novel
Viv Groskop, Observer
This is a flesh-and-blood tale you believe in, with fabulous period detail. It's all too rare to find a fun, glamorous, semi-literary tale to get lost in . . . While you're lost in the whirl of silk stockings, fur and hip flasks, all you care about is what Katey Kontent does next
Lucy Mangan, author of ARE WE HAVING FUN YET?
Who doesn't want to be transported to Thirties Manhattan?
The Times
Impossibly glamorous . . . Towles conjures up vintage New York so marvellously that it made me feel nostalgic for a place I've never been to
Sun Herald
This book feels special . . . Towles was born to write
San Francisco Chronicle
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
Ben Hoyle, The Times
Rattles along at the pace of a riotous night out in the book's vividly evoked Manhattan. It is atmospheric, satisfying Great Gatsby-lite complete with fish-out-of-water first-person narration, country house parties and a fabulously wealthy male protagonist who is not all that he seems
Wall Street Journal
Impressive . . . the great strength of Rules of Civility is in the sharp, sure-handed evocation of Manhattan in the late '30s
Put on some Billie Holiday, pour a dry martini and immerse yourself in the eventful life of Katey Kontent
Publishers Weekly
Smashing . . . remarkable for its strong narrative, original characters, and a voice influenced by Fitzgerald and Capote, but clearly true to itself
J. Courtney Sullivan, author of FRIENDS AND STRANGERS
The best novels are the ones that completely transport you to another time and place. This beautifully written debut does just that. With wit, wisdom, and rich language, Towles introduces a cast of unforgettable 1938 New Yorkers, who change the book's heroine in surprising and absorbing ways