The Imperfectionists  Pdf Summary Reviews By Tom Rachman

The Imperfectionists  Pdf 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.

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.


The Imperfectionists Review

Reading Rendezvous

4.0 out of 5 stars Reading Rendezvous: The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2010

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As The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman begins we are immersed into the ongoings of an English newspaper in Rome. The newspaper was started by a wealthy Atlanta-based billionaire, Cyrus Ott, who has hopes of changing the lives of many, primarily his old lover. The novel alternates between heart breaking tales of defeat to laughter. Continuing its thread of individuality each character has an opportunity to tell their stories and express their feelings, from a freelance writer, Lloyd Burko -who cannot admit he has lost his touch-to Oliver Ott- who is lost in the journalism world.

While each story is presented as its own entity we see that the individuals are more closely linked then we presume. One common thread throughout this novel is the realization that each of these characters is escaping something, running away from their fears and ambitions. In between each story we are presented with a continuous threaded description about the start of the newspaper and the lives of its founders. This is not to say that the novel is confusing to understand or even comprehend… actually it is the exact opposite. Rachman appropriately presents each character and how they affect the paper yet at the same time he intertwines information about others around them.

One of the most interesting stories is of an up and coming journalist, Winston Cheung, well at least he thinks that he is until he’s confronted with the world around him. Winston is incapable of realizing the ferocity and ambition of the other reporters until he meets the fast talking reporter, Rich Snyder, with hopes of entering Iraq. Suddenly Winston realizes his mistakes and retreats back to his primates where he not only finds solace but protection.

Remember your annoying English teacher, who was obsessed with grammar and improper usage of words and would berate you for every spelling mistake? Well he pales in comparison to Herman Cohen the corrections editor. With every mistake in the newspaper he berates the journalists and compiles his ever growing log of complaints in “The Bible.” What about the mindless idiots he is forced to work with other copy editors who constantly ignore errors? None is worse than Ruby Zaga.

* GWOT: No one knows what this means, above all those who use the term. Nominally, it stands for Global War on Terror. But since conflict against an abstraction is, to be polite, tough to execute, the term should be understood as marketing gibberish. Our reporters adore this sort of humbug; it is the copy editor’s job to exclude it. See also: OBL; Acronyms; and Nitwits.

He hits save. It is entry No. 18,238. “The Bible” — his name for the paper’s style guide — was once printed and bound, with a copy planted on every desk across the newsroom.
In an effort to ignore her mundane Queens life Ruby migrates to the great city of Rome to intern for the newspaper, yet she lacks the ambition of those around her. Starting her internship at the same time as ambitious and calculating Kathleen Solson,-present day editor in chief- the two attempt to break into the world of journalism. While Ruby is dedicated to this newspaper and stays on as copy editor, Kathleen soars. Kathleen not only gains a position as a news reporter, but quickly falls in love with an Italian man, Dario, who bows to her every desire. Yet Ruby wanted him as well although she wouldn’t admit it; she secretly coats her hands in his cologne each night to breathe him in. As Kathleen gets a Washington job, Ruby stays in Italy as a lonely American. To enhance her fantasies even more she rents a room at a posh hotel every New Year’s Eve and stuffs her face with mini bar food. When Kathleen returns to the newspaper six years later as editor and has become everything Ruby wants. Yet she has a secret she kissed Dario and now calls him constantly just to listen to the sounds of his voice.

As a reader we root for of each of these characters, each a little nerdy, and each losers in their own right. The novel is rife with amazing characters to say the least, each growing and progressing together. When describing a newsroom Rachman was able to infuse devotion and trust between the characters, maybe a little resentment too. Rachman has an amazing ability to get his audience involved in each characters life, we yearn for Italian men and hope against the demise of the newspaper.

The novel ends in great defeat not only have the characters been swallowed up into this newspaper but they dedicated themselves to a menial newspaper as a way of ignoring their ambitious. In the final scenes we see Oliver Ott – who was charged with publishing the newspaper- and his dog Schopenhauer wandering an old house searching for something. Oliver is the epitome of his employees, each searching for more yet afraid to reach for it or express their dreams. With every new vignette we learn about the newspaper and the world around them.

Tom Rachman paints a wonderful and endearing portrait of a newspaper and its journalists. Rachman’s language is not only descriptive but appropriate, his dialogue is superfluous and helpful, and his dramatization of the newspaper is amazing. His writing reflects that of his characters in short yet meaningful sentences. This novel is more than intriguing, its thought provoking and expansive. With this amazingly driven novel The Imperfectionists should appear on Page One of every newspaper.

Book Club Questions:
1. Do you believe that each character is stuck with the status quo? When we see a character such as Rich Snyder we see an over ambitious and triving individual. Yet in comparison to his counterparts they are stuck not searching or yearning for more.

2. With the introduction of every new character we are presented with an article they are writing. How does the article connect with the its character or other characters?

3. I personally believe that the author Tom Rachman did an amazing job developing his characters. Who did you connect with most? Sympthesize with? Pity? Dislike?

4. Did you find the story of the Ott family obtrusive or helpful? Why?

5. Why do you think the novel is call The Imperfectionists ?


4.0 out of 5 stars Terribly disappointing and also brilliant
Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2013

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Only a fool criticizes something for not being what he wants it to be, but foolishness is kind of my gig, so here goes: the problem with this novel is that it’s not a novel but rather a collection of stories in mostly the same setting with mostly the same characters. It’s like cubist art, revisiting themes, topics, characters multiple times from multiple angles, and bit by bit the larger reality is illuminated. There’s nothing wrong with this technique. When done right, it builds to something, and the book as a whole means something collectively greater than its constituent chapters. The problem is that this book isn’t done right. It’s a collection of chapters that are not literally independent, but which are independent in the ways that matter, and I don’t mean that as a compliment.

The other issue is that there’s no kindness to be found in the thing. We take a close-third zoom through the lives of a group of people who are either contemptible, pathetic, or both. They’re put in difficult situations, given tough choices, given opportunities to blossom or transcend, but they don’t. They are petty, and confronted with their pettiness they remain petty. No one is redeemed, and there is no warmth here, or at least, nothing that isn’t fleeting. If you wanted to curl up with a book that would make you feel like shooting yourself in the head, but in a kind of clever and witty way, well, you’ve found your man.

What’s remarkable about this last criticism is that the writing in this collection is so jaw-droppingly wise, so honest and earnest and slick, that I don’t know what to do with the overall ethos. That a writer of such staggering talent chooses this trajectory through these set pieces is, well, I dunno what it is. Some people, myself included, believe that literature should give you a way forward, even if the sense of the way forward evaporates before the kettle starts boiling. This collections contains none of that, and I probably shouldn’t blame the author for it. But there’s a lot of things I shouldn’t do and yet keep doing anyway. Rachman’s characters and I have that in common, anyway.

Aside from these critiques, this book has its moments, and they are as moving and powerful as anything I’ve read anywhere. The first chapter, in particular, will sit you down and cause you to pour yourself a bourbon, even if you have no bourbon to hand, even if you don’t even like bourbon, because after Rachman’s existential fugue on death and meaning you will need a drink, and by God you will find one whatever your circumstances. It takes a person of wisdom and profound moral seriousness to conceive a work as substantial as The Imperfectionists, and a rare literary gift to deliver it in the way he’s delivered it. Practically anyone would die happy to have written a book half as good as this one, but the fact that Rachman is capable of writing it moves me to knock off a star: if a man can hang the moon, I want to see him do it, damn it. His second novel will probably cause the planet to explode.

About Tom Rachman Author Of The Imperfectionists pdf Book

Tom Rachman
Tom Rachman

Tom Rachman is the author of four works of fiction: his bestselling debut, The Imperfectionists pdf book(2010), which was translated into 25 languages; the critically acclaimed follow-up, The Rise & Fall of Great Powers (2014); a satirical audiobook-in-stories Basket of Deplorables (2017); and an upcoming novel set in the art world, The Italian Teacher (March 2018).

Born in London and raised in Vancouver, Tom studied cinema at the University of Toronto and journalism at Columbia University in New York. He worked at The Associated Press as a foreign-news editor in Manhattan headquarters, then became a correspondent in Rome. He also reported from India, Sri Lanka, Japan, South Korea, Egypt, Turkey and elsewhere. To write fiction, he left the AP and moved to Paris, supporting himself as an editor at the International Herald Tribune. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and, among other publications. He lives in London.

The Imperfectionists pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information

The Imperfectionists pdf book
The Imperfectionists pdf book
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ The Dial Press; 1st edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0385343663
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0385343664
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.44 x 1 x 9.54 inches
  • Best Sellers Rank: #640,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • #7,952 in Contemporary Literature & Fiction
  • #32,247 in Literary Fiction (Books)
  • Customer Reviews: 3.8 out of 5 stars    861 ratings

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