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The Imperfectionists | [Tom Rachman]

The Imperfectionists

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (220 )
5 star
 (38)
4 star
 (70)
3 star
 (52)
2 star
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 (22)
Overall
3.4 (106 )
5 star
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3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
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Story
3.7 (109 )
5 star
 (31)
4 star
 (39)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
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  •  
    Debra North Yarmouth, ME, United States 02-27-11
    Debra North Yarmouth, ME, United States 02-27-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    5
    2
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    "love it"

    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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Chicago, IL, United States 12-04-11
    Lauren Chicago, IL, United States 12-04-11 Member Since 2011

    I guess I'm a baby...I just love to be read to.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    140
    ratings
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    158
    57
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    22
    3
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    Story
    "Excellent Novel"

    I work at a newspaper and this book hits the nail on the head. I loved this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RueRue Orange County, CA 04-28-14
    RueRue Orange County, CA 04-28-14 Member Since 2013

    RueRue

    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    87
    86
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Episodic narrative"
    If you could sum up The Imperfectionists in three words, what would they be?

    Timely, interesting, episodic


    What did you like best about this story?

    Great characters whose stories connect in small and major ways. Also, an interesting look at the great changes in journalism.


    Have you listened to any of Christopher Welch’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I enjoyed his performance and would listen to him again.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bethann McLaren Toronto, Ontario, Canada 04-03-13
    Bethann McLaren Toronto, Ontario, Canada 04-03-13 Member Since 2008

    Farm girl, voracious reader, lover of wine & whiskey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    "Masterfully done"
    Where does The Imperfectionists rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It wasn't an emotional roller coaster for the most part, but there were a few moments that really got to me.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha New York, NY, United States 07-28-11
    Samantha New York, NY, United States 07-28-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    13
    9
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    "A wondeful narrative puzzle"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory AUSTIN, TEXAS, United States 11-16-10
    Gregory AUSTIN, TEXAS, United States 11-16-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    35
    4
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    Overall
    "disappointed"

    I usually love "linked" story collections, but would go with "Let the Great World Spin" or "Olive Kitteridge" instead.

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Arroyo Grande, CA 12-02-10
    Joyce Arroyo Grande, CA 12-02-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    "Bumper Sticker"

    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.

    9 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Fairfax, VA, United States 02-19-13
    Nicole Fairfax, VA, United States 02-19-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly rich"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Imperfectionists to be better than the print version?

    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.


    What about Christopher Welch’s performance did you like?

    The narration is superb. I read the book a few years back and enjoyed listening to it even more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CO Girl 02-25-12
    CO Girl 02-25-12 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't bother"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    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.


    What aspect of Christopher Welch???s performance would you have changed?

    Felt bad for the narrator, it must have been hard for him to make this book even the slightest bit more interesting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Cardoso new york city 12-10-11
    M. Cardoso new york city 12-10-11 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    53
    7
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    0
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    "Well written and fun, but..."

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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