Even though the movie isn’t coming out now until later this year, I feel like I had an All Things Gatsby sort of 2012. In addition to anxiously waiting for the movie (and being disappointed in its Christmas release date delay), I took a class looking at American ex-Pats in Paris between WWI and WWII. So I guess there is little surprise that I ended (well almost) 2012 with a very Gatsby-esque book: Amor Towles’ Rules of Civility.
Now don’t worry – I do remember my history and my Gatsby (even if I did forget a major character’s name while I was writing this), I know it takes place in the 20s, pre-crash and Rules is set in the late 30s. But as I was reading this book, I couldn’t help but think that I was reading about the next generation Gatsby, Nick, Daisy and Tom. However, this book chronicles the life of Katey Kontent – she is our Nick, not given a privileged life, but actively seeking it through contacts, intrigue and affairs. Katey is a fabulous heroine she works hard, actively striving to develop a career for herself in this new New York, and she is definitely multifaceted displaying character strengths and flaws equally.
Can you tell … I really loved this book and Katey. I mean this book had me in the opening chapter which starts with an older Katey at a Walker Evans show in the 60s, before she goes on to remember her life in the 30s, and it only got better from there.