Table for Two

Amor Towles

A Taste of Life’s Delights: A Review of “Table for Two” by Amor Towles

Amor Towles’ “Table for Two” is a delectable collection of short stories, each offering a unique taste of human experience set against the backdrop of New York City and one captivating novella set in Golden Age Hollywood.

A Masterful Mix: This is not a single novel, but rather a diverse selection of stories. Each piece is distinct in its plot and characters, yet they are all united by Towles’ signature prose: witty, elegant, and imbued with a sense of nostalgic charm.

New York Delights: The New York-centric stories capture the city’s essence, from bustling streets to quiet cafes. They delve into the lives of ordinary people navigating the complexities of love, loss, societal expectations, and the unexpected turns life can take.

Hollywood Glamour (and Grit): The novella, “Eve in Hollywood,” offers a captivating glimpse into the glamor and grit of the Golden Age film industry. It follows the resourceful Eve Ross, a character familiar to fans of Towles’ previous work, as she navigates the challenges and opportunities of Hollywood life.

Strengths: Towles’ exceptional storytelling shines through in every story. He crafts compelling characters, even within the limited space of a short story, and skillfully evokes different emotions, from amusement to poignant reflection. The collection is a testament to his versatility, showcasing his ability to masterfully weave together humor, drama, and historical details.

Considerations: Readers seeking a single, cohesive narrative might find the jump between stories disruptive. Additionally, some narratives may feel incomplete due to the short format, leaving certain aspects of the characters or their situations unexplored.

Overall: “Table for Two” is a delightful literary treat, perfect for readers who appreciate captivating storytelling and a diverse range of human experiences. Whether you’re a longtime fan of Towles or simply looking for a collection of poignant and witty short stories, this book is sure to satisfy.

Recommendation: Highly recommended for fans of literary fiction, short stories, and anyone who enjoys Towles’ unique blend of humor, historical detail, and insightful human observation.