Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

The Imperfectionists (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Tom Rachman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5051612,420 (3.69)259
Title:The Imperfectionists
Authors:Tom Rachman
Info:Quercus Books (2011), Paperback, 355 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:read 2012

Work details

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman (2010)

  1. 00
    Ladies and Gentlemen by Adam Ross (marie-dune)
  2. 00
    Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris (GCPLreader)
  3. 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.
  4. 00
    The Song is You by Arthur Phillips (kristenn)
  5. 11
    London Transports by Maeve Binchy (bookworm12)
  6. 00
    In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin (IamAleem)
  7. 00
    Love and Shame and Love by Peter Orner (starboard)
  8. 00
    Kissing in Manhattan by David Schickler (boo-radley)
  9. 01
    Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (BookshelfMonstrosity)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 259 mentions

English (154)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (161)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  KRoan | Jul 25, 2014 |
Both a series of connected short stories and a novel, it reminded me of Kissing in Manhattan but was more successful. The stories were fleshed out,the people real (though some really unlikeable) and I really became invested in the paper and the people. Extremely enjoyable.
  amyem58 | Jul 16, 2014 |
A must for anyone who's been on the front lines of the implosion of the newspaper business over the past 20-40 years. I began my journalism career in my mid-90s, when things had already begun to decline, but I knew enough (and heard/learned enough from my mentors and old-timers) to realize what a sad and horrible thing was happening.

The plot isn't as elegant or seamless as one would hope, leaving this a novel that may be less appealing for those without a current or nostalgic connection to the newspaper business. And some of the characters are less developed than they could be – but that's kind of how it is in the newsroom, too. We never really know the full story of any of our colleagues, beyond their persona behind the desk, and that's part of what made it all so exciting: it always was all about the work and the stories, not the money or the personalities, and it's a real tragedy that investors and stockholders took all the fun out of what was surely the most interesting and life-affirming work I've ever had the pleasure of doing. Even when I was just a farm reporter in Western Illinois and had to burn my clothes after interviewing a factory pig farmer… it was real work, being out in the world and producing something original and new every day. I miss it, and this book reminded me not only how much but why. ( )
1 vote Seven.Stories.Press | Jun 13, 2014 |
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 pretty entertaining.

I read a review that criticized Rachman's portrayal of women as being emotionally unbalanced and needy. Well, at least Kathleen and Abbey are good at their jobs! Most of the men in the book are fairly incompetent in their professional and personal lives. I was especially fond of the chapter about the hapless stringer in Cairo.

Good fun, although not particularly uplifting about the state of journalism. ( )
  keneumey | Jun 4, 2014 |
The story of an English newspaper in Rome told through the lives of its staff. A trifle predictable but overall an interesting account of isolated editors each struggling in their own way. ( )
  emilyingreen | May 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Claire and Jack.
First words
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


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)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

An "imperfect" crew of reporters and editors working for an international English language newspaper stumble toward an uncertain future as the era of print news gives way to the Internet age. The story is set against the gorgeous backdrop of Rome.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
8 avail.
409 wanted
6 pay4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.69)
1 21
1.5 2
2 57
2.5 26
3 181
3.5 84
4 359
4.5 63
5 125


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,125,233 books! | Top bar: Always visible