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Rules of Civility Audiobook

Rules of Civility: A Novel

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Audible Editor Reviews

Amor Towles is approaching 50 and making a living as a principal at an investment firm. One wouldn’t expect his debut novel to be told from the perspective of a wise-cracking young lady of 25, but Towles is good at surprises. Katherine Kontent (“like the state of being”) is a legal secretary trying to climb the social ladder and squeeze all the juice out of Manhattan. She is the only slightly less seductive sidekick to Eve, who leaves her wealthy family behind to act like a mash-up of Christopher Isherwood's Sally Bowles and Truman Capote's Holly Golightly. It's the Upper East Side in the winter of 1939 — ripe for ripping off F. Scott Fitzgerald or Ernest Hemingway or whatever writer you prefer from the era of roaring alcoholism, but Amor Towles doesn’t take the bait.

Neither does narrator Rebecca Lowman, who has good fun with the zippy dinner conversations while managing to keep Kate's sporting sense of dignity intact as both lovers and day jobs threaten to collapse her up-and-comingness. Lowman, who has a long string of television series bit parts from Will & Grace to Law & Order to her credit, slips easily into the everywoman role and adds notes of believable determination to our heroine's struggle for better circumstances. Who will marry Tinker Grey and who will get the promotion at Conde Nast are interesting plots, but none of this is the surprise - the plot surprise is all the more devastating. Towles gives us some glitter, but he doesn't gloss, and that is the biggest surprise. The women in this book are fraught with the tremendous burden of appearing charming but unintelligent, and Lowman lets in enough sharp tones to give their dilemmas and revelations a substantial bite. Towles has fleshed out these familiar archetypes in a unique direction, so much more rich and thick than the flat characters with which novels of this time period are usually laden. —Megan Volpert

Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling novel that "enchants on first reading and only improves on the second" (The Philadelphia Inquirer).

Features a sample chapter from A Gentleman in Moscow, the highly anticipated new audiobook from Amor Towles - available fall 2016.

This sophisticated and entertaining first novel presents the story of a young woman whose life is on the brink of transformation. On the last night of 1937, 25-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a yearlong journey into the upper echelons of New York society - where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.

With its sparkling depiction of New York's social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike.

Hear why Rules of Civility is Our Book of the Summer.

©2011 Amor Towles (P)2011 Penguin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (3657 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Susan Winnipeg, MB, Canada 10-01-16
    Susan Winnipeg, MB, Canada 10-01-16
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    "Excellent!!!"

    I loved listening to this book. It was a real treat. Rebecca Lowman totally was a great narrator for this book. I can't wait to get Amor Towles next book. I loved this author's writing style, language and characters. He truly captured the New York 30's. The story was interesting with well developed characters. I highly recommend this book to other readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-29-16 Member Since 2016
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    14
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    "Awesome!"

    This book takes you to another time but in a way that doesn't seem theatrical or unrealistic. The performance was wonderful and the storyline full of interesting characters. Certainly worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Dean 08-30-16
    Marie Dean 08-30-16
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    7
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    "My favourite book"

    Having heard this when Sirius XM had the book channel I decided to start from the beginning. This is now my favourite book. I listen to it when I'm on the road for work or driving for travel. Love this and the narrator is awesome

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Olivia 06-25-16
    Olivia 06-25-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    This was a really great audiobook. My primary critique is that the main character / narrator could have been more developed. It was unclear how she seamlessly went from the Russian immigrant working class to hanging out with upper class people her age. My personal perspective is that that going from one extreme to the other is somewhat of an anomaly warranting further explanation.

    Another thing that irked me a little was the overzealous use of idiomatic phrases like "it's a Cracker Jack day!" And "Off with your head!" My mom who was born about 13 years after the book takes place (the book takes place in 1938) said that those kinds of figures of speech were common back then because life was simpler and people were less cynical. Still, I feel like it would have been better if the phrases and idioms were sprinkled more sparingly because I found them a bit disruptive to the narrative. Otherwise though, it was a great listen!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Gift For You New Jersey, USA 04-11-16
    A. Gift For You New Jersey, USA 04-11-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Particularly great story to listen to"

    Loved this story and this performance. Some books may be better enjoyed aloud and this is one of them. Similarly, White Oleander was a pleasure to listen to. The performer had the perfect inflection and tone for the main character. The story was interesting and timeless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    frances 04-03-16
    frances 04-03-16
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    6
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    "I loved this book. it was a great insight to the t"

    beautifully written and expertly performed it was a beautiful story of love and loss in the early 20th century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wilsie herlihy 03-18-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Loved it"
    What made the experience of listening to Rules of Civility the most enjoyable?

    The prose, the characters, the depth of the characters. I listened once, and immediately listened to again. I've never done that before.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    They were all my favorites, Kate, Evelyn, Tinker...


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Oh gosh, too many to mention.


    If you could rename Rules of Civility, what would you call it?

    1938


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it. A great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Olivia 02-01-16
    Olivia 02-01-16 Member Since 2015
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    "absolutely fell in love"

    this has to be most memorable book i have ever listened to on audible. I have recommended it many times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Studio City, CA 01-22-16
    Beth Studio City, CA 01-22-16 Member Since 2012
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    "A slow build but ultimately a Captivating Story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Rules of Civility to be better than the print version?

    I think this book would be enjoyable in either print or audio though Rebecca Lowman was a PERFECT choice for the main character.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Rules of Civility?

    I appreciated Katie's confrontation of Anne as well as her reflections of Tinker after finding out his secret.


    What about Rebecca Lowman’s performance did you like?

    Her smooth and even keeled voice was a perfect choice for Kathryn.


    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this book based on the first couple chapters but it grew on me and I came to appreciate the smart and thoughtful writing style.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yahaira Cope Chattanooga, TN 01-07-16
    Yahaira Cope Chattanooga, TN 01-07-16
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    "Narrative was amazing "

    Good story. Great narrator. I loved the narrative so much this was an easy read. the book was great until the end. I felt it should have ended differently.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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