Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility: A Novel - Amor Towles

—Oh stop, Eve said. It’s dreadful. What is it?

—Virginia Woolf.

—Ugh. Tinker brought home all these novels by women as if that’s what I needed to get me back on my feet. He’s surrounded my bed with them. It’s as if he’s planning to brick me in. Isn’t there anything else?


Rules of Civility left me cold. I did not hate it, I did not like, I certainly did not love it as much as other people, including a lot of readers whose reviews I value, loved this book.


I don't even know whether it was the detached voice of Katey Kontent that made me feel nothing about anything in this book or whether it was the embellished detail of 1930s jazziness that got on my nerves and made me look hard for another aspect of the book that I could get into. Something like a plot or an interesting character. Or at least one that did not feel like a cardboard cut-out.

I may have detested F.S. Fitzgerald's main characters, but at least they were memorable. I may have disliked Evelyn Waugh's tone and snobbishness, but at least his books carried an air of authenticity by attempting to be satire.


I don't even know what the book was trying to do.


Nope, Rules of Civility just did not work for me.