Amor Towles…It’s All in the Details

On March 15, member Wilda D. continued our theme of authors of the 21st century with her presentation on the works of American author Amor Towles. Mr. Towles is best known for his three novels: The Rules of Civility; A Gentleman in Moscow; and The Lincoln Highway.

In Wilda’s words “I chose to present on this author because I just love his writing”. There is no better reason.

Wilda emphasized that Amor Towles uses excellent descriptive details to make character and place come alive to the reader. Each of his three novels are set in the early to middle 20th century, however the author does not allow historical detail to overcome the stories about people and their choices that he tells.

The role of rules in the lives of his protagonists is a key part of his three novels in Wilda’s opinion. In The Rules of Civility, the protagonist tries to govern her behavior using an actual list of rules written by George Washington. In next novel, A Gentleman in Moscow the main character is a man who overcomes Soviet tyranny using the unwritten code of the Old World gentleman. The Lincoln Highway is the story of young men who are discovering what the rules of adult life will be.

Photo by Dmytro Tolokonov on Unsplash

A Gentleman in Moscow is Wilda’s favourite. It was clear from member discussion after Wilda spoke that many share her love of this book, and I share it as well. The book uses very constrained setting, which is presented in language that allows the reader to enter the character’s world. What stood out to Wilda is that the protagonist masters his circumstances, he is not mastered by them.

Wilda ended with “I highly recommend the work of this author”.

Shawna M.

Next week, the work of Esi Edugyan will be presented. Interested in joining us? Click here:

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