Imperfectionists, The

Rachman, Tom

  13 Reviews

A wise, funny and moving novel about the people who write and read an international newspaper based in Rome. We meet the hapless obituary reporter who will do anything to avoid work, the lonely executive who falls for the man she just fired, and the eccentric publisher who pays more attention to his basset hound than to his struggling paper. Rachman reveals how the private comedies and tragedies of these characters intertwine at work and at home. [Taken from book cover.]

Comments from Groups

Light reading, some interesting lifestyles for the characters. Tauranga 15

A dislocated storyline, but good character delineation. Brisk discussion. Manapouri 1

Some enjoyed the setting in Rome, the variety of the characters and unique writing style. Others found it disjointed and disliked the present tense. Christchurch 125

This was a great read and a wonderful first novel. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. Each chapter was a beautifully written "short story" interspersed with the history of the paper - very clever. Wellington 41

A worthwhile read, a bit different. We liked the historical thread running through the book, well structured. Napier 24

...clever, unusual, sometimes funny, often cruel. Auckland 9



ROTO 006
This was an easy read and a well-written book, but we did find it difficult to keep track of the characters.
TAUR 034
Everyone found this book an easy read. We thought most of the characters were interesting and, in some cases a bit bizarre, but cleverly described. We found the abrupt ending of some of the chapters a bit frustrating. The connections between the different characters seemed a bit tenuous, and didn't really create a very compelling read. Overall a bit disappointing!
PAPA 001
We found it disjointed, the book didn't pull together well. Interesting insight into the world of newspaper production. Excellent characterisations, a funny but at the same time sad book. Members enjoyed the Rome setting, as some had been there.
MTMA 001
A mixed reception - some members found the storyline hard to come to terms with, but we had a very good discussion at the meeting.
Mostly very well liked; the characterisation and the newspaper setting. The ones who didn't like it found the episodic nature too fractured, and struggled to get into it.
CHCH 312
Mixed reviews - some loved it, some not so keen. Lacked sense of hope. Stories didn't really link well to an ending - more short story based. Those who loved it liked the disconnected nature of the book, and the diverse nature of the characters.
Not a great favourite. Although the characters were well portrayed, they were not likeable. Bit depressing.
CHCH 094
Most enjoyed the book, but found it a bit disjointed.
DRUM 001
Not a popular choice, but a very good discussion about newspapers and their probable demise. Enjoyed more by members who took the book to be a series of short stories rather than a novel.
We all enjoyed 'The Imperfectionists', although some of us took a little while to get used to the way the book hopped from one newspaper person to another. It was quite subtle in the way that Rachman blends the office and private lives of the people who strive to keep the newspaper operating, while dealing with turmoil in their own lives. The book had some really funny episodes to lift the mood occasionally. We had a spirited discussion on the present state of our news reporting.
AUCK 071
As always, a book that the majority of members dislike, raises a very stimulating discussion. Most members felt it was disjointed and rather unpleasant. However, others saw the humour and cleverly detailed character portraits as redeeming features.
Half of the group were very positive, enjoying the interesting structure, the in depth knowledge of each character and the rich language. The other half didn't enjoy it, felt that the story jumped around a lot and was quite depressing.
CHCH 155
A variety of disparate characters. We had many different views in our lively discussion. A good read that included humour and pathos.