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. This hilarious and poignant look at the struggles of print news will establish Rachman as one of the 21st century’s most perceptive talents.
©2010 Tom Rachman (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
"It would be hard to come up with a better narrator than Christopher Evan Welch for Tom Rachman's saga of the birth, life and death of a newspaper. By turns bitter, sweet, icily callous and very funny, the novel covers half a century and a large number of characters. Welch distinguishes between the characters mostly by mood and register, but so adeptly that he conveys personality and predicament as well as any thespian." (Washington Post Book World)
“So good I had to read it twice simply to figure out how he pulled it off. I still haven’t answered that question, nor do I know how someone so young . . . could have acquired such a precocious grasp of human foibles. The novel is alternately hilarious and heart-wrenching.” (Christopher Buckley, The New York Times Book Review)
“Deftly written and sharply observed . . . Even if you’ve never set foot in a newsroom, The Imperfectionists proves a delight . . . It’s impossible not to like—this is masterful stuff.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
I'm completely surprised by the negative reviews. This is one of the best books I've ever read. (I am a writer myself and an English professor, so I read--and listen to--a LOT of literary fiction.) I also love the reader and how he inhabits the various characters.
Why are all the characters either obnoxious jerks or pathetic losers? After a while, you crave a few more characters you can relate to and care about-- no matter how engaging the writing is.
I guess I'm a baby...I just love to be read to.
I work at a newspaper and this book hits the nail on the head. I loved this book.
I am not usually a big fan of interconnected short stories, but I thorughly enjoyed this one. THE IMPERFECTIONISTS clearly illustrates how "the whole is more than the sum of its parts". Beautiful writing that worked extremely well on audio. Christopher Welch did an outstanding job with the narration.
I usually love "linked" story collections, but would go with "Let the Great World Spin" or "Olive Kitteridge" instead.
This book could be condensed to a bumper sticker ... life's a bitch and then you die. While it is well-written and the newspaper background is somewhat interesting, the characters tend to be pathetic and the book moves plotlessly along at a snail's pace.
Farm girl, voracious reader, lover of wine & whiskey.
I for one, was very surprised to find out how young Tom Rachman is. His characters are so diverse and so convincingly narrated that I was convinced he must be a much older gentleman with years of life experience and writing experience behind him. I was quite touched by the multiple character threads and in the end, very impressed with how Rachman brought them all together tidily and convincingly. A very well done book with a solid performance by Christopher Welch.
It wasn't an emotional roller coaster for the most part, but there were a few moments that really got to me.
These beautifully crafted stories engage the reader with their witty and ironic take on a group of expats persisting at the margins of respectability in a professional world marching toward its demise. While each chapter ends with a satisfying ironic twist, what is most surprising of all is the author's remarkable empathy for each of his characters and his ability to paint them as full human beings who deserve and invite our acknowledgement.
The narration is superb. I read the book a few years back and enjoyed listening to it even more.
If you have money and time to waste, buy this book, otherwise skip it. There is no real plot it's basically a collection of people who happen to be tied together by the newspaper they worked for in Italy. Boring and depressing are the keys words I give for this book. I kept waiting for it to get interesting and for me to care for at least one of the characters, never happened. All were too self absorbed and pitiful rather than endearing.
Felt bad for the narrator, it must have been hard for him to make this book even the slightest bit more interesting.
I appreciated this book so much that I have bought a copy for my 20 closest friends to read. The story is rich and Tom Rachman, for my money, has a pin point perspective. My only criticism is that through this tome it seems that he/ or his view is misogynistic. However, I don't really care what his psychosis is or isn't about women. This story is amazing. As you read (or listen in this case) you find yourself encased in the world of newsprint and the lifestyle of an expat in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The story, characters, scenes and psycology are without fault. If you miss this, you'll be the worse for it.
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