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The Imperfectionists: A Novel Hardcover – Apr 6 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The Dial Press; Third Printing edition (April 6 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385343663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385343664
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #109,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3.7 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jacques Liard on April 3 2011
Format: Hardcover
Although the book's story lines have an atmosphere of nearly despair, the reader can find him/herself immersed in the lives of the people involved directly and indirectly with a failing newspaper. It is a fine study of "faulty" characters.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Donald Key on July 4 2010
Format: Hardcover
To a casual reader, this surprisingly successful debut may come across as a series of well written stories about a set of broken characters working for a failing paper; but Rachman's brilliance shines through this complex work in a number of impressive ways, not the least of which is his ability to make you sympathize - even emphathize with people who you might normally prefer to avoid. As other reviewers have noted, this talent is difficult to figure, especially on such a scale (this seems to happen repeatedly throughout the book) but it is a stroke of brilliance. Both through the structure of the book, and through the excellent writing, one comes to understand that although each of the characters is broken in some way, they are all human. I can think of few who have accomplished such a task so seamlessly and so well. It is the ideal combination of subtlety and force. I sincerely hope that it is the first of many.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on May 7 2010
Format: Hardcover
After reading Christopher Buckley's glowing review in the NY Times on Sunday morning I found myself buying this book that afternoon. I just finished it last night and wished that it hadn't ended! I found myself laughing or gasping out loud often over the interesting characters, their quirks and just how the author describes life to a tee ("...anything worth anything is complicated...").

From another readers' Amazon.com review: "From my reading, I'm guessing that Tom Rachman is not only a wonderful writer, but a wonderful guy." I have to agree. After reading this, you will wish this guy was your friend.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 30 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ironically, "The Imperfectionists" is the perfect title for Tom Rachman's brilliant, astute and original debut novel. Set in Rome, the book describes an English-language newspaper's demise; each chapter (all of which read like short stories) focuses on one individual who is somehow affiliated with the paper. There's the desperate Paris-based freelancer willing to jeopardize his son's career for a byline, the lazy obituary writer whose life is transformed by tragedy, the imperious editor-in-chief whose open marriage is on the fritz and the most hilarious rookie Cairo correspondent who is ruthlessly manipulated by a competitor. Though "imperfect" to a fault, Rachman's characters come across as authentic and endearing. Yes, they gripe and annoy each other but their stories are so real, so poignant and so strongly imagined that together they form one winner of a novel.
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By AG on Jan. 3 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book twice and liked it better the second time. The characters were interesting and the inter personal relationships very clever. It was a great story. I was fascinated how some characters very directly affected the lives of others they didn't know very well.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark on July 6 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because it received great reviews and because, as a former journalist, I thought I would find it especially interesting. I was disappointed. I abandoned "The Imperfectionists" about half-way through. This is another one of those novels, like "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen, that leaves me puzzled about the state of contemporary literary fiction. "Freedom", too, received rave reviews and was, to me, disappointing in the same way that "The Imperfectionists" is disappointing. The writing was facile, the characters uninteresting and the plot non-existent. The whole thing had an air of trying very hard to sound clever.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patricia on Feb. 15 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so well written you will find yourself re-reading sentences and paragraphs for the sheer delight. You not only read about the characters: you walk among them and easily become them. Each voice is so distinct that you have the feeling you know these people and will miss them once the book is finished. Humor and heartbreak intermingle with all it means to be human.

It satisfies on many so levels. Each chapter is so complete and well crafted like an award winning short story.
My only worry is how Tom Rachman an ever reach these heights again.
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