Friday, June 14, 2024

Amor Towles

“Dry witted” investment banker turned bestselling modern-day F. Scott Fitzgerald-esque author Amor Towles is a civilised gent who has “led a life straight from one of his novels”

Table for Two – “six stories based in New York” around the turn of the millennium and “a novella set in Golden Age Hollywood” – is the latest “knockout” work from Boston born author Amor Towles (published May 2024) if you’d believe The New York Times. Of it, The Times enthused further: “If you take only one book on holiday this summer, you couldn’t ask for a better literary capsule wardrobe.”

Whilst the extraordinarily eccentric Nubar Gulbenkian once suggested: “The best number for a dinner party is two – myself and a damn good head waiter,” Table for Two’s fiction delves into a world where the Financial Times’s Christian House suggests a mixture of “misunderstood hustlers wear cashmere, washed-up thespians outwit playboys and aristocrats wait tables.” He presents “excellent company” and “grand and seamy lodgings, loveable chancers and outrageous parties — with warmth and irreverence.”

 

To buy novels by Amor Towles including Table For Two, A Gentleman in Moscow, Rules of Civility and The Lincoln Highway whilst supporting local, independent bookshops, click the following Bookshop.org link:

 

https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/thesteepletimes

Yale College and Stanford University educated and an ex-investment banker, Towles – whose fans range from the tech pioneer Bill Gates to President Barrack Obama – is most definitely a modern-day F. Scott Fitzgerald in terms of the observations he makes about society, the rich and indulgence.

Towles lives with his wife and two children between Gramercy Park, New York and a house with its own lake in Upstate New York, describes himself as “comfortable with solitude” and lists his hobbies as “collecting fine art and antiquities.” His biggest hit, A Gentleman in Moscow, premiered as a film starring Ewan McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in March 2024 whilst the making of a film adaptation of The Lincoln Highway is underway also.

Follow this social media savvy bestselling author on Twitter at @amortowles and on Instagram at @amortowles.

Editor’s note – Unlike as is the case in many publications, this article was NOT sponsored or supported by a third-party. Follow Matthew Steeples on Twitter at @M_Steeples and watch his current nightly show on YouTube at 8.30pm daily.

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Bill Gates Amor Towles
In May 2019, Bill Gates remarked of ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ (2017): “It seems like everyone I know has read this book. I finally joined the club after my [then] brother-in-law sent me a copy, and I’m glad I did. Towles’ novel about a count sentenced to life under house arrest in a Moscow hotel is fun, clever, and surprisingly upbeat. Even if you don’t enjoy reading about Russia as much as I do (I’ve read everything Dostoyevsky wrote), ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ is an amazing story that anyone can enjoy.” Of ‘Rules of Civility’ (2012), Gates added: “Towles is not a one trick pony. Like all the best storytellers, he has range.”
Nighthawks Edward Hopper
Amongst his inspirations, the author cites Edward Hopper and his 1942 work ‘Nighthawks’ as one of “the more understated influences” of ‘Rules of Civility’ (2011) – a book that, according to Wikipedia, “was successful beyond his expectations, so much so that proceeds from the book afforded him the luxury of retirement from investment banking and the opportunity to pursue writing full time.”
Amor Towles Table for Two 2024
In April 2024, ‘City A.M.’s’ Anna Moloney shared her thoughts on the “whimsical life” of the ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ and ‘Table for Two’ author. Aside from praising his “dry wit and twinkle-in-its-eye prose,” Moloney shared her experiences sending a letter in a bottle aged 10 (and “never heard of it again”) and added: “Not so for Towles himself, however, whose life appears to have been blessed with such a sense of whimsy that one can imagine he may have been delivered by stork. And indeed, young Towles, also aged 10, sent a message in a bottle out into the Atlantic Ocean – but to considerably more success. While he hoped it might have reached China, he instead received a letter from the offices of ‘The New York Times,’ where then-managing editor Harrison Salisbury wrote to inform him he had found Towles’s dispatch – an extraordinary story that kicked off many years of correspondence between the two. It is also a story journalists now can’t stop bringing up, he tells me, but it’s one that so perfectly frames the world his novels sprang from that it’s impossible to resist.”

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