Rules of Civility

2012/12/30

Rules of CivilityRules of Civility by Amor Towles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Such a fun read. I don't know if it's my luxurious down time over winter break or if the book has a compulsive readability, but I breezed through it in just a few days.

What I loved:
The characters for sure. The author borders on throwing in too many minor characters for my taste, the protagonist especially was extremely likable and very well drawn. I enjoyed her so much that it almost came as a surprise to me when I realized that she wasn't all the perfection that I wanted her to be. Made it better.

What I learned:
The novel paints a good picture of life in New York in 1938. As is my beef with many historical novels, its hard to know how much of the characters' modern sensibility is authentic, but still I felt like I got a taste for life during that time and place.

A favorite passage:
Whatever setbacks he had faced in his life, he said, however daunting or dispiriting the unfolding of events, he always knew that he would make it through, as long as when he woke up he was looking forward to his first cup of coffee...
Uncompromising purpose and the search for eternal truth have an unquestionable sex appeal for the young and high-minded; but when a person loses the ability to take pleasure in the mundane- in the cigarette on the stoop or the ginergersnap in the bath- she has probably put herself in unnecessary danger... this risk should not be treated lightly: One must be prepared to fight for one's simple pleasures and to defend them against elegance and erudition and all manner of glamorous enticements;


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