Monday, October 16, 2017
Amor Towles, RULES OF CIVILITY
I adored this book, stayed up until all hours, two nights in a row, reading it, and would put it in my top 5 for the year. Narrated in the first person by Katey Kontent, the daughter of Russian immigrants, reflecting back on her time in 1938 New York City, when she had one foot in the world of the absurdly wealthy and the other in the world of working-class girls with brains. How can you not love a book that has this on its first page: "In the 1950s, America had picked up the globe by the heels and shaken the change from its pockets. Europe had become a poor cousin--all crests and no tablesettings. ... True, the Communists were out there, somewhere, but with Joe McCarthy in the grave and no one on the Moon, for the time being the Russians just skulked across the pages of spy novels." It has references to Prufrock, Great Expectations, A Room with a View (among others ... but really, three of my favorite works of English literature EVER). Clever, evocative, beautifully written. I've already ordered his next, A Gentleman in Moscow.