Last summer I heard a few people raving about, The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. The description caught my interest so I put it in my list of books to read in my phone and promptly forgot about it until a few weeks ago when I was wandering through Chapters on my lunch break. Let me warn you, dear readers: wandering through chapters on your lunch break is a recipe for bankruptcy.
Rules has been a great follow up read to Gatsby. It takes place over the course of one year New York (1938), and is written like noir fiction from the 1930s. It’s great writing— smart, direct, unsentimental prose. And it manages to be smart without being totally pretentious at the same time. The detailed descriptions of the fashion, music, culture and social hierarchy of the time period are incredible. As I’ve been reading, I find myself totally captivated by the world of depression-era Manhattan.
I’ve already promised Ariana she can borrow it when I’m done—I burned through the first 300 pages and am now taking my time with the last 100 because I don’t want it to be over—but you can be next in line if you want.
“As a quick aside, let me observe that in moments of high emotion—whether they’re triggered by anger or envy, humiliation or resentment—if the next thing you’re going to say makes you feel better, then it’s probably the wrong thing to say. This is one of the finer maxims that I’ve discovered in life. And you can have it, since it’s been of no use to me.”