The Imperfectionists: A Novel

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Random House LLC, Jan 4, 2011 - Fiction - 304 pages
23 Reviews
Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Rome, Tom Rachman's wry, vibrant debut follows the topsy-turvy private lives of the reporters, editors, and executives of an international English language newspaper as they struggle to keep it - and themselves - afloat.

Fifty years and many changes have ensued since the paper was founded by an enigmatic millionaire, and now, amid the stained carpeting and dingy office furniture, the staff's personal dramas seem far more important than the daily headlines. Kathleen, the imperious editor in chief, is smarting from a betrayal in her open marriage; Arthur, the lazy obituary writer, is transformed by a personal tragedy; Abby, the embattled financial officer, discovers that her job cuts and her love life are intertwined in a most unexpected way. Out in the field, a veteran Paris freelancer goes to desperate lengths for his next byline, while the new Cairo stringer is mercilessly manipulated by an outrageous war correspondent with an outsize ego. And in the shadows is the isolated young publisher who pays more attention to his prized basset hound, Schopenhauer, than to the fate of his family's quirky newspaper.

As the era of print news gives way to the Internet age and this imperfect crew stumbles toward an uncertain future, the paper's rich history is revealed, including the surprising truth about its founder's intentions.

Spirited, moving, and highly original, The Imperfectionists will establish Tom Rachman as one of our most perceptive, assured literary talents.

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Review: The Imperfectionists

User Review  - Crystal Starr Light - Goodreads

The story follows several members of an English-speaking newspaper based in Rome, Italy. There is some overlap and connection between the stories, especially the further you get into the novel. And ... Read full review

Review: The Imperfectionists

User Review  - Jonfaith - Goodreads

A touch uneven, thankfully the weaker pieces are back-loaded. Thoughts gather and scatter from Fleet Street. Nods abound to Waugh and Michael Frayn. It is a worthy screed. Notice is given for the present peril. I've bought this for several people I care about. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Tom Rachman was born in London and raised in Vancouver. A graduate of the University of Toronto and the Columbia School of Journalism, he has been a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, stationed in Rome. From 2006 to 2008, he worked as an editor at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. He lives in Rome.

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