Table for Two by Amor Towles

Our Rating
Author: Amor Towles

Category: Fiction & related items

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Hutchinson Heinemann

ISBN: 9781529154115

RRP: $34.99

Any new release from Amor Towles is eagerly anticipated. To have six short(ish) stories plus a novella in one book is nothing short of an early Christmas gift. The six short stories have the subheading, ‘New York’. The novella set in LA could have been a book on its own.

‘The Line’ begins in rural Russia, just as the Bolshevik Revolution begins. Before concluding in NYC. Pushkin, the protagonist from that story, shares a naivety with the eponymous protagonist in ‘The Ballad of Timothy Touchett’. Even in each character’s confusion and despair, Towles’ empathy for his characters is evident. That care continues in ‘Hasta Luego’, where the narrator shares an evening with a charismatic figure hiding a fatal flaw.

The narrators in both ‘I Will Survive’ and ‘The Bootlegger’ watch on as their partners make logical decisions with less-than-ideal consequences. The narrator in ‘The DiDomenico Fragment’ proves too smart for his own good. These stories are a skiful weave of whimsy and irony, backed by meticulous research and told in unique narrative voices.

The novella, ‘Eve in Hollywood’ reprises a character from Towles’ debut novel, Rules of Civility. Miss Evelyn Ross travels to Hollywood in the years just prior to World War II. She makes friends with a retired policeman she met on the train, and those involved in the movie industry, from current and forgotten actors, to lawyers and studio heads. Her friendship with – and willingness to protect – Olivia de Havilland is central to a plot told from the perspective of seven characters.

Evelyn’s calm insouciance belies her inner strength: great for her friends; an insurmountable obstacle for those with malign intent. She is a singular protagonist – everyone should have a person like Miss Evelyn Ross in their lives.

Towles’ use of idiomatic language captures each timeframe and setting perfectly. Anton Chekov and George Saunders are regarded as masters in this genre. Towles isn’t just worthy company but has unmatched command of narrative voice and character development.

This is storytelling at its finest.

Reviewed by Bob Moore



Amor Towles authorBorn and raised in the Boston area, Amor Towles graduated from Yale College and received an MA in English from Stanford University. Having worked as an investment professional for over 20 years, he now devotes himself full time to writing in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.

His novels Rules of Civility, A Gentleman in Moscow, and The Lincoln Highway have collectively sold more than six million copies. Both Bill Gates and President Barack Obama included A Gentleman in Moscow and The Lincoln Highway on their annual book recommendation lists.

Rules of Civility (2011) was a New York Times bestseller and was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of the year. The book’s French translation received the 2012 Prix Fitzgerald.

A Gentleman in Moscow (2016) was on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. It was named one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR.

The Lincoln Highway (2021) debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Towles’s short stories have appeared in the Paris Review (#112), Granta (#148), British Vogue, and Audible Originals.

Visit Amor Towles’s website


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