|Easy words||Big words|
Rules of Civility
I loved the writing Towles offered in The Gentleman of Moscow so much, that I was thrilled to find that he had another book: Rules of Civility: A Novel.
And, you know something? I didn’t think it was as good.
The things that were truly wonderful about The Gentleman in Moscow—the slow character development, the thoughtful reflections on the human existence, the delicate meditation on how life unfolds—is not reflected in this book.
It follows a group of young twenty-somethings experiencing New York in the 1920s. Maybe it’s just me (I’m going to reveal my bias a bit), but can we (fellow authors) please start writing about non-white people who have existed outside of New York City?
I get it. It was a good time. It’s a complex city. But complex people exist outside of NYC.
Now that I’ve stepped off my soapbox, the story progressed quickly enough but left me disappointed with the ending. The ‘grand reveal’ was a bit of a Really? Is that all?
Maybe the character development wasn’t there, but I didn’t follow the reactions that ensued. Time heals all wounds in a way that Towles grasps in The Gentleman in Moscow but is still trying to grasp in his first novel.