Synopses & Reviews
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 richhistory 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.
In his zinger of a debut, Rachman deftly applies his experience as foreign correspondent and editor to chart the goings-on at a scrappy English-language newspaper in Rome...Chapters read like exquisite short stories...There are more than enough
Tom Rachman was born in London and raised in Vancouver. A graduate of the University of Toronto and the Columbia School of Journalism, he has been a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, stationed in Rome. From 2006 to 2008, he worked as an editor at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. He lives in Rome.
Preoccupied by personal challenges while running a struggling English-language newspaper in Rome, an obituary writer confronts mortality, an eccentric publisher obsesses over his basset hound and other staff members uncover the paper's founding by an impulsive millionaire. A first novel.
Table of Contents
Bush Slumps to New Low in Polls / Paris Correspondent - Lloyd Burko -- Worlds Oldest Liar Dies at 126 / Obituary Writer - Arthur Gopal -- Europeans are Lazy, Study Says / Business Reporter - Hardy Benjamin -- Global Warming Good for Ice Creams / Corrections Editor - Herman Cohen -- U.S. General Optimistic on War / Editor-in-Chief - Kathleen Solson -- The Sex Lives of Islamic Extremists / Cairo Stringer - Winston Cheung -- Kooks with Nukes / Copy Editor - Ruby Zaga -- 76 Die in Baghdad Bombings / News Editor - Craig Menzies -- Cold War Over, Hot War Begins / Reader - Ornella de Monterecchi -- Markets Crash Over Fears of China Slowdown / Chief Financial Officer - Abbey Pinnola -- Gunman Kills 32 in Campus Rampage / Publisher - Oliver Ott