The Imperfectionists: A Novel

Front Cover
Dial Press, 2010 - Fiction - 272 pages
106 Reviews
Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Rome, Tom Rachman's wry, vibrant debut follows the topsy-turvy private lives of the reporters, editors, and executives of an international English language newspaper as they struggle to keep it--and themselves--afloat.

Fifty years and many changes have ensued since the paper was founded by an enigmatic millionaire, and now, amid the stained carpeting and dingy office furniture, the staff's personal dramas seem far more important than the daily headlines. Kathleen, the imperious editor in chief, is smarting from a betrayal in her open marriage; Arthur, the lazy obituary writer, is transformed by a personal tragedy; Abby, the embattled financial officer, discovers that her job cuts and her love life are intertwined in a most unexpected way. Out in the field, a veteran Paris freelancer goes to desperate lengths for his next byline, while the new Cairo stringer is mercilessly manipulated by an outrageous war correspondent with an outsize ego. And in the shadows is the isolated young publisher who pays more attention to his prized basset hound, Schopenhauer, than to the fate of his family's quirky newspaper.

As the era of print news gives way to the Internet age and this imperfect crew stumbles toward an uncertain future, the paper's rich history is revealed, including the surprising truth about its founder's intentions.

Spirited, moving, and highly original, The Imperfectionists will establish Tom Rachman as one of our most perceptive, assured literary talents.

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Wow, what a great new Canadian writer. - LibraryThing
Love the layout of the book in little vignettes. - LibraryThing
Great books are easy to read in my opinion. - LibraryThing
The character development is excellent. - LibraryThing
The writing was fine. - LibraryThing
The writing is light, funny and engaging. - LibraryThing

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User Review  - keneumey - LibraryThing

Having spent some time at English-language news outlets in Europe, I'd say The Imperfectionists gets it right. The cast of characters are a pretty pathetic bunch of expatriates, but they're also ... Read full review

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User Review  - KRoan - LibraryThing

Marvelous and horribly depressing. Perfectly captures a spectrum of human foibles and uncomfortable situations, while spinning out an iconic version of the death of newsprint. Read full review

About the author (2010)

Tom Rachman was born in London and raised in Vancouver. A graduate of the University of Toronto and the Columbia School of Journalism, he has been a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, stationed in Rome. From 2006 to 2008, he worked as an editor at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. He lives in Rome.

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