The Imperfectionists

Tom Rachman, Author
Tom Rachman, Author . Dial $25 (272p) ISBN 978-0-385-34366-4
Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 04/01/2010
Paperback - 348 pages - 978-84-936960-9-2
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-1-84916-029-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-3084-8
Open Ebook - 206 pages - 978-1-58836-974-1
Paperback - 281 pages
Hardcover - 453 pages - 978-1-4104-3065-6
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-385-67104-0
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-385-67103-3
Open Ebook - 166 pages - 978-1-299-06992-3
Ebook - 381 pages - 978-1-922148-62-9
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-85738-326-6
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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, turning out the intersecting lives of the men and women who produce the paper—and one woman who reads it religiously, if belatedly. In the opening chapter, aging, dissolute Paris correspondent Lloyd Burko pressures his estranged son to leak information from the French Foreign Ministry, and in the process unearths startling family fare that won't sell a single edition. Obit writer Arthur Gopal, whose “overarching goal at the paper is indolence,” encounters personal tragedy and, with it, unexpected career ambition. Late in the book, as the paper buckles, recently laid-off copyeditor Dave Belling seduces the CFO who fired him. Throughout, the founding publisher's progeny stagger under a heritage they don't understand. As the ragtag staff faces down the implications of the paper's tilt into oblivion, there are more than enough sublime moments, unexpected turns and sheer inky wretchedness to warrant putting this on the shelf next to other great newspaper novels. (Apr.)

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