Rules of Civility
'Achingly stylish' Guardian
'Irresistible' Daily Telegraph
'Gripping' The Sunday Times
In a 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:
the location of every old church in Manhattan
how to sneak into the cinema
how to type eighty words a minute, five thousand an hour, and 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.
That's how quickly New York City comes about, like a weathervane, or the head of a cobra. Time tells which.
'A delicious and memorable novel that will leave you wistful - and desperate for a martini.' Stylist
'Elegance and hardship drip off the page' Daily Mail
For fans of Fitzgerald and Capote, a witty, elegant fairytale of New York, set in 1938.
'Everything about this novel, set in 1930s New York, is achingly stylish - from the author's name to the slinky jacket design. Katey Kontent, daughter of Russian immigrants, and Evie Ross, from the sleepy midwest, are an ambitious, wisecracking pair who, despite lack of money and connections, aim to set the city alight. A fortuitous meeting with the apparently wealthy Tinker Grey on New Year's Eve, 1937, will change the course of both their lives.' - Guardian
'If you want shopping at Bendel's, gin martinis at a debutante's mansion and jazz bands playing until 3am, Rules of Civility has it all and more ...While you're lost in the whirl of silk stockings, furs and hip flasks, all you care about is what Katey Kontent does next. Another one bartender, please.' - Observer
'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.' - Telegraph
'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.' - Stylist
'My book of the year. If the unthinkable happened and I could never read another new work of fiction in 2011, I'd simply re-read this sparkling, stylish book, with yet another round of martinis as dry as the author's wit.' - Herald
Amor Towles has written fiction which has appeared in The Paris Review. This is his first novel. He lives in New York.