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The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman Review

Title: The Imperfectionists

Author: Tom Rachman

First published January 1, 2010

272 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780385343664 (ISBN10: 0385343663)

Rating: 3.54


Set in the bustling streets of New York City, Tom Rachman’s captivating novel delves into the lives of the employees at a struggling magazine. Despite their dedication to the publication, the personal lives of the staff always seem to take center stage.

The editor-in-chief, a fiercely independent woman, finds herself reeling after a recent divorce. Meanwhile, the lazy sports writer is forced to confront his demons after a tragic accident.

The financial officer struggles to balance her work and love life, while the ambitious new intern learns the harsh realities of the publishing industry. As the magazine faces increasing pressure to adapt to the digital age, the staff must band together to save their beloved publication.

Rachman’s witty and poignant writing style will leave readers eager for more.

About the Author

Tom Rachman is a successful author with four published works of fiction under his belt. His debut novel, The Imperfectionists, was a bestseller and has been translated into 25 languages.

He followed it up with The Rise & Fall of Great Powers, which received critical acclaim. A satirical audiobook-in-stories, Basket of Deplorables, was published in 2017, and his latest novel, The Italian Teacher, is set in the art world and will be released in March 2018.

Tom was born in London but grew up in Vancouver. He studied cinema at the University of Toronto and journalism at Columbia University in New York.

He worked as a foreign-news editor at The Associated Press in Manhattan before becoming a correspondent based in Rome. During his time at AP, he reported from various countries, including India, Sri Lanka, Japan, South Korea, Egypt, and Turkey.

To pursue his passion for writing fiction, he left AP and settled in Paris, where he worked as an editor at the International Herald Tribune. His writing has been featured in several publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Washington Post.

Tom currently resides in London.

Editoral Review

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman is a compelling novel that explores the inner workings of an international newspaper based in Rome, Italy. Published in 2010, the book is Rachman’s debut novel and has since been widely acclaimed for its humorous yet poignant portrayal of the eccentric staff members and their intertwined lives.

Tom Rachman, an author and journalist, worked as a correspondent for various publications before turning his hand to fiction writing. The Imperfectionists is a charming and witty take on the world of newspapers and the people who work behind the scenes to bring news to the public.

The novel is structured around a series of interconnected stories, each featuring a different character and their experiences working for the newspaper. From Arthur Gopal, the obituary writer, to Kathleen Solson, the expat business reporter, Rachman brings each character to life with skillful characterization and subtle humor.

Set in the heart of Rome, the novel immerses readers in the vibrant city and its cultural nuances. However, the setting is more than just a backdrop.

Rachman uses the city as a metaphor for the transient nature of life, with its changing customs, architecture, and people. While the novel may seem lighthearted on the surface, it explores deeper themes of disconnection, loneliness, and the search for purpose.

Through each character’s experiences, the reader comes to understand the struggles of those who work in the media industry and the impact their work has on their personal lives. The Imperfectionists is a masterfully crafted novel, with each chapter seamlessly flowing into the next.

Rachman’s prose is lyrical and precise, capturing the nuances of each character’s unique voice. His use of humor and irony adds depth to the novel, making it a thoroughly enjoyable read.

However, the book is not without its flaws. The episodic nature of the plot can make it difficult to engage with the characters on a deeper level.

Additionally, some of the plotlines feel unresolved, leaving the reader wanting more closure. Despite these limitations, The Imperfectionists is a must-read for fans of literary fiction.

It offers a unique perspective on the media industry that feels especially relevant in today’s climate. Rachman’s vivid portrayal of characters struggling to find their place in the world is both insightful and heartfelt.

Overall, The Imperfectionists is a delightful and engaging read that will leave readers both entertained and thoughtful. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a well-written, character-driven novel that explores the complexities of human connection.