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Imperfectionists, The by Tom Rachman
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Imperfectionists, The (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Tom Rachman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,9061911,985 (3.68)276
Member:mausergem
Title:Imperfectionists, The
Authors:Tom Rachman
Info:Quercus Publishing Plc (2011), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Journalism

Work details

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman (2010)

  1. 10
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    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 276 mentions

English (183)  German (3)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (2)  Danish (1)  English (191)
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
The Imperfectionists was an intriguing read to me, mostly because of the way it is presented. In each chapter of Tom Rachman’s novel, we get introduced to eleven characters; all connected to an unnamed international newspaper headquartered in Rome. In the chapters that read like short stories we have a Paris correspondent who is willing to cook-up a story for the front page to get paid, an obituary writer who becomes transformed after a personal tragedy, a business reporter who seems to have got a bad deal in life, a corrections editor who is a grammar nazi, an editor-in-chief who is attempting to reconnect with an ex-lover to get back at her cheating husband, a Cairo stringer who gets railroaded by an expert freeloader, a copy editor whose life seems glamorous to her relatives, a news editor who is afraid of being alone, a loyal reader who is determined to read all the articles the newspaper has ever published, a chief financial officer who hates her office nickname; “accounts payable”, and finally an indifferent publisher whose only friend is his dog.

"… What truth? The paper is hardly at the cutting edge of technology – it doesn’t even have a website. And circulation isn’t increasing. The balance sheet is a catastrophe, losses mount annually, the readership is aging and dying off."

Tom Rachman reminds us with mediums such as television and internet, newspaper publishing has turned into a cutthroat industry. Competition is fierce and real, making it impossible for traditional newspapers to shy away from modern technology.

Having worked at the International Herald Tribune as an editor, Tom Rachman is not new to the life at newspapers. So a touch of reality is there in his depictions of the newsroom, may it be editorial meetings or afternoon rush to meet deadlines. Most of his newsroom characters have dysfunctional relationships, probably because of the toll their work have on them, but none of them are unlikable, and Tom Rachman’s sassy writing style makes this novel a fun read. ( )
  Nirmala.Chandrasiri | Nov 30, 2016 |
Years ago, a very rich American decided, for reasons of his own, to start an English-language newspaper in Rome. Rachman's novel is a series of inter-connected vignettes about some of the individuals affiliated with this now-declining paper. Some nice humor and some well-drawn characters made this bittersweet tale a really nice read. ( )
  Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
This was charming but darker than expected. I was troubled by the events in the final chapters. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
I wasn't really sure if I would enjoy this one, but decided to give it a try since I tend to love books revolving around bookstores, publishing companies, etc. It was a quick read and a fascinating view of the publishing world. I loved the characters and how they all intertwined in some way as the story progressed. I really enjoyed this! ( )
  PagesandPints | Sep 1, 2016 |
Wasn't sure what I was going to think about this book since each chapter is about someone different that is either working at the newspaper or associated with the newspaper some how. They are each their own little short story yet the book felt like one cohesive story. The author did a nice job of tying them all together. I don't normally like reading short stories because I usually like to know more of the story and more of the characters. A lot of times I feel let down with only a tease. But this book was very enjoyable. It is also a pretty quick read since I read it in a day and I'm a slow reader. I went to college for journalism and I worked in the Des Moines Register news room during college so this book made sense to me and drew me to it because I had a history in journalism. But still, if you really don't know newspapers and the media, it's still a nice read. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 183 (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.
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.
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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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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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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