Rules of Civility

Amor Towles

Rules of Civility
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Rules of Civility

Amor Towles

In a jazz bar on the last night of 1937, watching a quartet because she couldn’t afford to see the whole ensemble, there were certain things Katey Kontent knew:       

  • The location of every old church in Manhattan   
  • How to sneak into the cinema   
  • How to type eighty words a minute, five thousand an hour, and nine million a year   
  • and that if you can still lose yourself in the first chapter of a Dickens novel then everything is probably going to be fine.       

By the end of the year she’d learned:       
  • How to launch a paper airplane high over Park Avenue   
  • How to live like a redhead   
  • How to insist upon the very best   
  • That the word ‘yes’ can be a poison   
  • and the Rules of Civility.       

That’s how quickly New York City comes about – like a weathervane – or the head of a cobra. Time tells which.

 

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