Grab a Gin Martini and Curl Up With Rules of Civility

BlogHer Review

Everyone who writes a book has been a first-time author, and I will admit that I always approach a new novelist with some trepidation. Such was the case with Amor Towles' debut novel, Rules of Civility. Let me assure you, no trepidation was necessary.

I don't believe I have ever described a book as elegant before, but that is the primary word that leaped to my mind as I was reading. I love period pieces, so despite this being a new writer, I was looking forward to reading the book. And Towles far exceeded my expectations. Not only did he tell a wonderful story, he told it in a way that, despite my dislike of gin and smoking, made me want to sit down and share a martini and cigarette with Katey, Eve and Tinker.

While the book has three primary human characters, I love that the supporting characters are well developed and move the story along in a positive way, rather than getting in the way of the main story-line.

And one would be remiss not to name the fourth primary character in Towles’s book, the fair city of New York itself. Towles paints a beautiful, almost cinematic view of 1930’s New York, from dingy jazz clubs to the swanky Rainbow Room, from a steno pool in a law office to a fast paced magazine office, we are introduced to various characters as seen not only through Katey Kontent’s eyes, but through the lens of the city itself.

In addition to the phenomenal descriptors, we are treated to one of the most quotable books I’ve read in recent memory. Towles’s use of language is just masterful throughout the novel and I found myself highlighting passages to go back and savor later.

If you’re looking for a witty, charming, clever, elegant book, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Rules of Civility.