The Imperfectionists: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)
by Rachman, Tom
Standard Delivery: 2 to 8 days
More Shipping Options
Ask Seller a Question
Payment Methods Accepted
About This Item
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.
Review this book and you'll be entered for a chance to win $50!
(Log-in or create an account first!)
“What I really fear is time. That’s the devil: whipping us on when we’d rather loll, so the present sprints by, impossible to grasp, and all is suddenly past, a past that won’t hold still, that slides into these inauthentic tales. My past – it doesn’t feel real in the slightest. The person who inhabited it is not me. It’s as if the present me is constantly dissolving.”
The Imperfectionists is the first novel by British-born journalist and author, Tom Rachman. Set in late 2006 and early 2007, each of eleven chapters is like a vignette of the lives of particular characters who are, in some way, associated with the Rome-based International English-Language newspaper that was founded in 1953 by successful Atlanta businessman, Cyrus Ott. The alternate chapters detail significant events in the newspaper’s history.
While the main plot is straightforward: the creation and eventual demise of the publication; there is a myriad of sub-plots involving the various characters, so that each of those chapters is almost a short story itself, involving some characters from the other chapters. This is reminiscent of Rohinton Mistry’s Swimming Lessons (Tales from Firosha Baag).
Rachman gives the reader a cast of quirky characters: a mild-mannered obituary writer whose superior shows such a lack of compassion at his personal tragedy that it elicits a vengeful response; a business editor who finds herself forsaking friends, family and her own values so as not to be single; a young stringer stranded in Cairo with no idea of how to report; a corrections editor who finally learns the truth about an idolised friend; a dying writer resigned to her fate; a jaded Paris correspondent reaching desperation point; a reluctant young heir whose closest relationship is with his basset hound; a faithful reader who lives in the past, avoiding a certain fateful day; a publisher who founds a paper for the sake of unrequited love; a dreary news editor who forces his own worst fear to eventuate; an editor-in-chief who looks for a lover and finds a much-needed friend; a copy editor who feels excluded, persecuted and on the brink of redundancy; and a financial officer whose unwise decision sees her humiliated.
Rachman involves his characters in the petty politics, conflicts and occasional charitable acts that make up a busy workplace and comprise everyday life. He gives them words of wisdom: “We enjoy this illusion of continuity and we call it memory. Which explains, perhaps, why our worst fear isn’t the end of life, but the end of memories” and ‘Nothing in all civilisation has been as productive as ludicrous ambition. Whatever its ills, nothing has created more. Cathedrals, sonatas, encyclopedias: love of God was not behind them, nor love of life. But the love of man to be worshipped by man.” He gives them throw away lines: “Journalism is a bunch of dorks pretending to be alpha males” and “I suspect that revenge is one of those things that’s better in principle than in practice…there’s no real satisfaction in making someone else suffer because you have”
This novel is often funny, sometimes sad, and the reader will be moved to reflect on the ultimate fate of print newspapers in today’s world. A brilliant debut. 4.5★s
- EstateBooks (US)
- Bookseller Inventory #
- The Imperfectionists: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)
- Rachman, Tom
- Book condition
- New Like New
- ISBN 10
- ISBN 13
- Dial Press Trade Paperback
- Place of Publication
- New York
- Date published
- Bookseller catalogs
Terms of Sale
All books we offer have been cleaned and individually inspected for quality.
The following describes the types of wear often noticed on used books:
Cover Chips/Abrasions - At fine level or below, may indicate 1-2 chips of about 2mm on the edge of the cover. At very good level, may indicate several chips/abrasions along the edge of the cover or 1-2 chips in the body of the cover. There may be also light indentations in the cover.
Cover Crease - At fine level or below, may indicate a dust jacket is not flush against the book, 1-2 barely perceptible crimps on the inside flap of the dust jacket, or small crimps following the curve of the spine. At very good level or below, may indicate 1-2 creases in the cover less than 1/2in from the edge of the book. At good level or below, may indicate larger or multiple creases or crimps on the cover.
Cover Tear - At good level, may indicate a tear or cut up to 1/2in from the edge of the cover. At acceptable level, may indicate a larger tear as long as the cover is substantially intact.
Cover Discoloration - At fine level, may indicate barely perceptible residual price label adhesive. At very good level or below, may indicate the cover is discolored due to sunlight/aging, mild staining, or residual label adhesive.
Cover Scratches - At fine level or below, indicates barely perceptible scratches in the dust jacket or cover. At very good level or below, may indicate a small number of visible scratches or more generally scratched appearance.
Cover Rubbing - At fine level or below, indicates rubbing of the dust jacket or cover resulting in a "dusty" or slightly discolored appearance, particularly near the back cover board seam.
Cover Peeling - At very good level or below, indicates the edge of the cover laminate is peeling, making the laminate visible with a tape-like appearance.
Spine Wear - At very good level or below, indicates a crease on the spine suggesting the book has been read. At good level or below, this may indicate a curvature to the spine, suggesting the book has been left open for some time.
Page Crimping - At very good level or below, indicates a small number of pages may have been crimped and then flattened. At good level or below, an area up to 1/4in from the edge of some pages may be crimped, abraded, or dog-eared.
Page Discoloration - At very good level or below, indicates the edge of some pages may be discolored from sunlight/aging or small stains. At good level, the inside cover pages may have small stains. At acceptable level, content pages may have stains around the page edges.
Pages Cut - At good level or below, indicates an area up to 1/8in from the edge of some pages may be cut or torn, provided all of the text and content is still readable.
Pages Uncut - At very good level or below, indicates some pages may have not been cleanly cut by the publisher.
Remainder Marking - At condition level fine or below, there may be a black or red mark on the edge of the pages indicating it is used. At condition level very good or below, there may be a marking on the inside or rear cover barcode.
Store Marking - At condition level very good or below, this may indicate a hand-written price on the inside cover. At condition level good or below, this may indicate a stamp on the inside cover or edge of the pages indicating it was purchased form a used book store. There may be a price tag on the rear cover which is difficult to remove without damaging the cover.
Library Markings - At condition level good or below, this may indicate the book has stamps or stickers on the outside and/or inside cover and/or page edges, indicating the book was formerly property of a school or public library. The cover may be partially or fully laminated. There may be a card holder attached to record check-out records.
Owner Markings - At condition level good or below, indicates a prior owner may have written their name or brief note on the inside cover. In rare cases, the owner may have laminated the book.
Page Writing - At acceptable level, indicates writing or highlighting on the content pages.
Dust Jacket Notes
No Jacket - At condition level very good or below, indicates a hardcover book missing its dust jacket.
Dust Jacket Damage - At condition level very good or below, indicates a torn or otherwise damaged dust jacket, which would otherwise result in a reduced condition grade. The dust jacket is provided for completeness and may be discarded by the purchaser.
Irrespective of wear, we expect each book sold to be pleasant to read.
Autographed books have been personally signed by the author.
We offer a 30 day return guarantee, with full refund including original shipping costs for up to 30 days after delivery if an item is lost or arrives damaged or is not as described. If you wish to return an item for any other reason (such as a duplicate gift) we offer a refund of the purchase price less shipping and site fees for up to 7 days after delivery, provided the item is preserved in the same condition in which it was received.
Items are sent via the USPS. Domestic standard shipping is Media Mail, Expedited is Priority Mail or First Class Mail (depending on weight), and Express is Priority Mail Express. International shipping is Priority Mail International. If you prefer a particular alternative shipping option please contact us and we will work with you to meet your preferences.
About the Seller
Some terminology that may be used in this description includes: