The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

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Maxwell Ryan
Jul 26, 2011

As we celebrate and explore American Style this month, I thought that nothing could be more perfect than to single out this new novel (it comes out today) by an old friend, who is an amazing writer with a startlingly sharp eye for the visual details of Manhattan in the late '30s.

While the story centers around two young, strong willed women coming up in the world (oh, yes, there's romance, heartbreak and all the usual suspects), the star of this show is the backdrop and the deep, lush descriptions that pull you right back in time. This is from the WSJ this morning: "Mr. Towles, an investment banker, is similarly precise in his descriptions of the Explorers Club, the '21' Club, the Belmont race track, a Southampton estate, the swank apartment houses on Central Park West, or in noting the frayed rugs and carelessly hung Audubon prints at an exclusive Long Island hunt club or the cunning silver Art Deco martini shaker in a banker's living room."

This is a great summer read, and I expect a film version soon.

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