x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Rules of Civilty

New York on New Year's Eve in 1937 and Katey Kontent and Evelyn Ross are two young girls about town who are in a hurry to party, to climb the social ladder, to make names for themselves.

 

Amor Towles

Sceptre

Dh85

 

New York on New Year's Eve in 1937 and Katey Kontent and Evelyn Ross are two young girls about town who are in a hurry to party, to climb the social ladder, to make names for themselves. As the clock ticks towards midnight, the pair meet Theodore "Tinker" Grey. He is a banker who is (naturally) equal parts night and day: for him the streets are paved with gold; for the girls this chance encounter might lead them down the road to ruin. Indeed, trouble finds Ross before the night is out.

So begins Amor Towles's debut novel. This is a work where Kontent is whisked from one party to another, fast-tracked to the upper echelons of the city's social scene and exposed to (yes, you guessed it), the best of times and the worst of times. "Doesn't New York just turn you inside out," remarks Kontent, with the kind of observation that one becomes familiar with, almost worn out by, in these pages. That is not to say this novel is without merit, but it might be too smart, too sassy for some.