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The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

The Imperfectionists (2010)

by Tom Rachman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6901712,205 (3.68)274
  1. 00
    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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    In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin (IamAleem)
  8. 00
    Love and Shame and Love by Peter Orner (starboard)
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  10. 01
    Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (BookshelfMonstrosity)

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» See also 274 mentions

English (163)  German (3)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (171)
Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
I loved this book and I am really disappointed I cannot read another Tom Rachman straight away. Set in Rome from thr 50s to the early 2000s, against the background of the rise and fall of a English language international newspaper; it is essentially a series of short stories about characters in the paper's life, some sad, some funny, some pointed. Characters pop in and out of each others stories and they are all beguiling and believable. I particularly loved the Italian countess who reads to the whole of the paper every day and, because this takes longer than a day, is living in a increasingly distant past, until.... [no spoilers here].
I look forward to more Rachman in the future. ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |
The Imperfectionists was an interesting read. Each chapter was a short story about someone working at or connected with an English language newspaper that is based in Rome. Each connecting with another chapter in some way. Loved the book up until the end, where there was one thing that happens that I was like "REALLY?!?! Was the necessary??" But the other 99% of the book was good. ( )
  TheKnittedSheep | Oct 15, 2015 |
This book is about an English language international newspaper based in Rome. Each chapter is about a different person, mostly people who work for the paper in some capacity. There is small overlap in the stories, but each chapter can stand alone. Overall, found the characters and the writing to be not that exciting.

The one chapter I loved was from the perspective of a devoted reader of the paper. She read every issue of the daily paper from cover to cover, and she was about fifteen years behind. She had all the future issues stacked in her attic waiting to read. She doesn't talk to anyone about current events and lives her life in the past. Her world falls apart when she gets to the day when there is a missing paper. It was such an interesting premise and cleverly written. However, the book was disappointing overall. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Did I really not already write this up? I have distinct memories of doing so relatively soon after I finished this.

ANYWAY, this was a treat to read. Interconnected chapters that could stand alone as short stories, about expats working at an English language international newspaper based in Rome. I especially felt it hit just right on the feel of Americans living in Italy. A few of the endings were really a knife twist, and so quick it would be possible to blink and miss them. ( )
  delphica | Jun 9, 2015 |
I loved this book until the very end when one unnecessarily awful thing happens--something that seemed totally out of place with the rest of the book and not something that added anything to the plot. I still gave the book 3 1/2 stars because I did enjoy most of it and thought that most of it was well written, but that event at the end ruined my enjoyment of the book, not only because it was something cruel, but also because it was jarring and because it seemed like the author got to the end and couldn't think of a good way to wrap things up. ( )
  carlym | May 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 163 (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 editionsconfirmed
Bachman, Barbara M.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Vicq de Cumptich, RobertoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Claire and Jack.
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Lloyd shoves off the bedcovers and hurries to the front door in white underwear and black socks.
If history taught us anything, Arthur muses, it is that men with mustaches must never achieve positions of power.
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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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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.

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