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The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
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The Imperfectionists (2010)

by Tom Rachman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,1472022,544 (3.67)283
  1. 10
    Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris (GCPLreader)
  2. 00
    Office Politics by Wilfrid Sheed (giovannigf)
    giovannigf: Office Politics reads like a direct predecessor to The Imperfectionists: a fairly realistic (and biting) satire of the machinations behind a literary magazine, described from the point of view of each of the main characters.
  3. 00
    44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These character-driven novels use vignettes and ensemble casts to explore multiple plots and the relationships between characters. 44 Scotland Street is both comical and upbeat, while The Imperfectionists is more nuanced, complex, and thoughtful.… (more)
  4. 00
    Ladies and Gentlemen by Adam Ross (marie-dune)
  5. 11
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  6. 00
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  7. 00
    In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin (IamAleem)
  8. 00
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  9. 00
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  10. 01
    Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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» See also 283 mentions

English (193)  German (3)  Swedish (3)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (202)
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
Sweet-tempered, acutely observant, and wry novel-in-stories about a failing international newspaper that falls well short of the frothing plaudits it has received. It's a good, quick read, but hardly the tour de force that some have claimed it for. In saying so I am trying to get outside myself, in the sense that books about beleaguered writers written by straight white American men are a little bit too much my meat. If you are reading this you almost certainly know exactly what I mean. ( )
  MikeLindgren51 | Aug 7, 2018 |
I thought this was well written. I liked that each chapter was a stand alone story about the different people involved in producing a world newspaper in Rome. I did think there would be a big reveal at the end, but was somewhat disappointed. In fact, I did not like the way this book ends rather brutally. I guess that's life in the newspaper business, ( )
  melanieklo | Jul 25, 2018 |
While well written I'm not entirely sure what the hell this book really set out to accomplish. It was meh. ( )
  JamieBH | Apr 3, 2018 |
This is an odd book for me - each chapter is a short story on one of the employees (and one reader) of a semi-major international newspaper published in Rome. Each chapter was well written, the characters fully realized. And the story was warm, full of humanity.

Unfortunately, in almost all of these stories, the protagonist ended up worst off than he began, from Hardy, who ends up dating a deadbeat, to the obituary writer, whose daughter died. It seems like every chapter has an affair in it, or was driven to an affair. I'm not sure if the message was suppose to be "those in the news business are sad, lonely people".

I enjoyed reading the book, and learning a bit about the news, however, at times, it was the same thing over and over. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Nov 28, 2017 |
I have not yet read this book.
  LynneQuan | Sep 20, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
The novel is alternately hilarious and heart-wrenching, and it's assembled like a Rubik's Cube. I almost feel sorry for Rachman, because a debut of this order sets the bar so high.
 
Enjoy "The Imperfectionists" for the gem that it is.
 
"The Imperfectionists" is about what happens when professionals realize that their craft no longer has meaning in the world's eyes (think of all those hardworking monk-scribes idled by Gutenberg) and that the only people who really understand them are on the same foundering ship, and that, come to think of it, they really loved that damn ship for all it made their lives hell.
 
He's both testing and tender towards his people - their loneliness and purposelessness, moments of cleaving awareness ("one day, his son will die"), capabilities for love and commitment, devotion to kids, awareness of the fading future of a faded friend. It's convincing and compassionate; amusing and affectionate. In fact, it's a bit of a jewel.
 
Anyone who has ever spent time in newspaperland will recognise The Imperfectionists' high degree of authenticity. So – you hope – will quite a few people beyond it. The citadel may be crumbling, but the righteousness of the defenders, miraculously, endures.
added by lkernagh | editThe Guardian, DJ Taylor (Apr 10, 2010)
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tom Rachmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bachman, Barbara M.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Vicq de Cumptich, RobertoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Claire and Jack.
First words
Lloyd shoves off the bedcovers and hurries to the front door in white underwear and black socks.
Quotations
If history taught us anything, Arthur muses, it is that men with mustaches must never achieve positions of power.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Employees of an old-style English language newspaper based in Rome struggle with personal tragedies, dilemmas, and blunders while eyeing the rising tide of technology.
Haiku summary
Declining news biz/intertwined sad, fun stories/journalists' lives suck (ReadWriteLib)

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(see all 2 descriptions)

Preoccupied by personal challenges while running a struggling newspaper in Rome, an obituary writer confronts mortality, an eccentric publisher obsesses over his dog, and other staff members uncover the paper's founding by an impulsive millionaire.

» see all 5 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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