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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    65
  • 4 Stars
    111
  • 3 Stars
    79
  • 2 Stars
    49
  • 1 Stars
    31

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    67
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    10

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    19
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lauren
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 12-04-11

Excellent Novel

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

So many characters, so little plot

What disappointed you about The Imperfectionists?

I read this because Christopher Buckley gave it a good review in the NYT. He loved it for the well-drawn characters. I hated it because I expected those characters' stories to come together for more of a plot.

Has The Imperfectionists turned you off from other books in this genre?

I can't decide what genre this was.

What about Christopher Welch’s performance did you like?

He performed characters of both sexes and also did accents very well.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not enough to stop me from feeling like I wasted hours of my life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nicole
  • Fairfax, VA, United States
  • 02-19-13

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Samantha
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 07-28-11

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

disappointed

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

8 of 13 people found this review helpful