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The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

The Imperfectionists (2010)

by Tom Rachman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,2772032,451 (3.67)285
Recently added byKatie_Roscher, private library, rena75, MrtnHpp, prunil, SWade0126, awilk, ErezMilgrom
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    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)
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» See also 285 mentions

English (194)  German (3)  Swedish (3)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (203)
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
I borrowed this book from a friend, who gave it the highest of marks, and assured me that I would enjoy it. Unfortunately, it was mostly "meh". Technically, a very solid book. There's nothing wrong with it. The subject matter is interesting, as is the setting and the myriad of depressive characters we meet. But I felt nothing. Nothing in the book shocked, surprised, or touched me in any way. Perhaps I have a cold, unfeeling heart. In fact, I'm pretty sure my heart is tepid at best. In the end, this novel just wasn't my cup of tea. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
Bored me to tears after the first chapter or two...Accustomed to reading sprawling, postmodern, contemporary American fiction by greats such as William T. Vollman and Junot Diaz, I had higher expectations of this book than were met when I stopped halfway through. After I understood the premise of how each chapter links individuals with their particular roles at a newspaper at different points in time, I realized that none of them captivated me in any significant way, and since this is a very character-driven novel, decided that the opportunity cost of finishing it at the expense of the other items on my list was too great. ( )
  timjaeger | Jan 7, 2019 |
The writing is good but I wasn't crazy about jumping from one character to the next for each chapter. Towards the end it was sometimes hard to remember who everyone was. I felt like as soon as I was invested in one person it would move on to another and that was often frustrating. ( )
  Katie80 | Oct 8, 2018 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 194 (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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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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(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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