The Imperfectionists: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)

3.54 avg rating
( 42,175 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780385343671: The Imperfectionists: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY 
Janet Maslin, The New York Times · The Economist · NPR · Slate · The Christian Science Monitor · Financial Times · The Plain Dealer · Minneapolis Star Tribune · St. Louis Post-Dispatch · The Kansas City Star · The Globe and Mail · Publishers Weekly
 
From the author of The Italian Teacher, this acclaimed debut novel set in Rome follows the topsy-turvy lives of the denizens of an English language newspaper.
 
Look in the back of the book for a conversation between Tom Rachman and Malcolm Gladwell

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.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2010 Printing presses whirr, ashtrays smolder, and the endearing complexity of humanity plays out in Tom Rachman's debut novel, The Imperfectionists. Set against the backdrop of a fictional English-language newspaper based in Rome, it begins as a celebration of the beloved and endangered role of newspapers and the original 24/7 news cycle. Yet Rachman pushes beyond nostalgia by crafting an apologue that better resembles a modern-day Dubliners than a Mad Men exploration of the halcyon past. The chaos of the newsroom becomes a stage for characters unified by a common thread of circumstance, with each chapter presenting an affecting look into the life of a different player. From the comically overmatched greenhorn to the forsaken foreign correspondent, we suffer through the painful heartbreaks of unexpected tragedy and struggle to stifle our laughter in the face of well-intentioned blunders. This cacophony of emotion blends into a single voice, as the depiction of a paper deemed a "daily report on the idiocy and the brilliance of the species" becomes more about the disillusion in everyday life than the dissolution of an industry. --Dave Callanan
Tom Rachman on The Imperfectionists

I grew up in peaceful Vancouver with two psychologists for parents, a sister with whom I squabbled in the obligatory ways, and an adorably dim-witted spaniel whose leg waggled when I tickled his belly. Not the stuff of literature, it seemed to me.

During university, I had developed a passion for reading: essays by George Orwell, short stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer, novels by Tolstoy. By graduation, books had shoved aside all other contenders. A writer--perhaps I could become one of those.

There was a slight problem: my life to date.

By 22, I hadn't engaged in a bullfight. I'd not kept a mistress or been kept by one. I'd never been stabbed in a street brawl. I'd not been mistreated by my parents, or addicted to anything sordid. I'd never fought a duel to the death with anyone.

It was time to remedy this. Or parts of it, anyway. I would see the world, read, write, and pay my bills in the process. My plan was to join the press corps, to become a foreign correspondent, to emerge on the other side with handsome scars, mussed hair, and a novel.

Years passed. I worked as an editor at the Associated Press in New York, venturing briefly to South Asia to report on war (from a very safe distance; I was never brave). Next, I was dispatched to Rome, where I wrote about the Italian government, the Mafia, the Vatican, and other reliable sources of scandal.

Suddenly--too soon for my liking--I was turning thirty. My research, I realized, had become alarmingly similar to a career. To imagine a future in journalism, a trade that I had never loved, terrified me.

So, with a fluttery stomach, I handed in my resignation, exchanging a promising job for an improbable hope. I took my life savings and moved to Paris, where I knew not a soul and whose language I spoke only haltingly. Solitude was what I sought: a cozy apartment, a cup of tea, my laptop. I switched it on. One year later, I had a novel.

And it was terrible.

My plan – all those years in journalism--had been a blunder, it seemed. The writing I had aspired to do was beyond me. I lacked talent. And I was broke.

Dejected, I nursed myself with a little white wine, goat cheese and baguette, then took the subway to the International Herald Tribune on the outskirts of Paris to apply for a job. Weeks later, I was seated at the copy desk, composing headlines and photo captions, aching over my failure. I had bungled my twenties. I was abroad, lonely, stuck.

But after many dark months, I found myself imagining again. I strolled through Parisian streets, and characters strolled through my mind, sat themselves down, folded their arms before me, declaring, "So, do you have a story for me?"

I switched on my computer and tried once more.

This time, it was different. My previous attempt hadn't produced a book, but it had honed my technique. And I stopped fretting about whether I possessed the skill to become a writer, and focused instead on the hard work of writing. Before, I had winced at every flawed passage. Now, I toiled with my head down, rarely peeking at the words flowing across the screen.

I revised, I refined, I tweaked, I polished. Not until exhaustion--not until the novel that I had aspired to write was very nearly the one I had produced--did I allow myself to assess it.

To my amazement, a book emerged. I remain nearly incredulous that my plan, hatched over a decade ago, came together. At times, I walk to the bookshelf at my home in Italy, take down a copy of The Imperfectionists, double-check the name on the spine: Tom Rachman. Yes, I think that's me.

In the end, my travels included neither bullfights nor duels. And the book doesn't, either. Instead, it contains views over Paris, cocktails in Rome, street markets in Cairo; the ruckus of an old-style newsroom and the shuddering rise of technology; a foreign correspondent faking a news story, a media executive falling for the man she just fired. And did I mention a rather adorable if slobbery dog?

About the Author:

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.
From the Hardcover edition.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 16.00
US$ 10.80

Convert Currency

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Tom Rachman
Published by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 0385343671 ISBN 13: 9780385343671
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. One of most acclaimed books of the year, Tom Rachman s debut novel follows the topsy-turvy private lives of the reporters and editors of an English-language newspaper in Rome. Bookseller Inventory # KNV9780385343671

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.80
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Tom Rachman
Published by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 0385343671 ISBN 13: 9780385343671
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. One of most acclaimed books of the year, Tom Rachman s debut novel follows the topsy-turvy private lives of the reporters and editors of an English-language newspaper in Rome. Bookseller Inventory # KNV9780385343671

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.89
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Rachman, Tom
ISBN 10: 0385343671 ISBN 13: 9780385343671
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2011. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VR-9780385343671

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.28
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Rachman, Tom
Published by Dial Press Trade Paperback (2011)
ISBN 10: 0385343671 ISBN 13: 9780385343671
New Paperback Quantity Available: 4
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Dial Press Trade Paperback, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # 0385343671

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.64
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Rachman, Tom
ISBN 10: 0385343671 ISBN 13: 9780385343671
New Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2011. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780385343671

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.66
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

RACHMAN, TOM
Published by Penguin Random House
ISBN 10: 0385343671 ISBN 13: 9780385343671
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Random House. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0385343671

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.30
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Rachman, Tom
Published by Dial Press 1/4/2011 (2011)
ISBN 10: 0385343671 ISBN 13: 9780385343671
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Dial Press 1/4/2011, 2011. Paperback or Softback. Book Condition: New. The Imperfectionists. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780385343671

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.40
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Rachman, Tom
Published by Dial Press Trade Paperback (2011)
ISBN 10: 0385343671 ISBN 13: 9780385343671
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Save With Sam
(North Miami, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Dial Press Trade Paperback, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # 0385343671

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.54
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Tom Rachman
Published by Dial Press Trade Paperback (2011)
ISBN 10: 0385343671 ISBN 13: 9780385343671
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Dial Press Trade Paperback, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0385343671

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.69
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Rachman, Tom
Published by Dial Press Trade Paperback
ISBN 10: 0385343671 ISBN 13: 9780385343671
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Dial Press Trade Paperback. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0385343671. Bookseller Inventory # Z0385343671ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.72
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book