The Imperfectionists

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The Imperfectionists Fiction
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Product Description

Fifty years ago, an enigmatic millionaire founded an international English-language newspaper in Rome. Today, the paper's staff struggles to keep it circulating as print media is eclipsed by the Internet age. However, often the troubles of the paper are overshadowed by the personal dramas of the paper's editors, reporters, and executives. Editor-in-chief Kathleen has been betrayed; lazy obit writer Arthur gets a tragic wake-up call; Abbey finds an odd connection between her job cuts and love life, and more. As they contemplate a future filled with topsy-turvy uncertainty, the shocking history of the paper is revealed. A debut novel that sparkles with verisimilitude on every page!! 272p.

Editorial Reviews

An English-language newspaper headquartered in Rome brings together a strongly imagined cast of characters in journalist Rachman's first novel. Lloyd Burko used to be a stringer living in Paris. He's still in Paris, but now he's just an impoverished former journalist who pretends to have a computer and whose latest wife has moved in with the guy across the hall. Arthur Gopal is languishing as an obituary writer until a death in his own life enables his advancement by erasing his humanity. Hardy Benjamin is a business writer, savvy and knowledgeable about corporate finance but utterly hapless in romance. What they have in common is the never-named paper, whose history is doled out in brief chapters beginning in 1953. The novel's rich representation of expatriate existence surely benefits from the author's experiences as an AP correspondent in Rome and an editor at the International Herald Tribune in Paris; his thoroughly unglamorous depictions of newsroom cubicles and editorial offices will resonate with anyone who's had a corporate job. But, while the newspaper is its unifying factor, the narrative's heart beats with the people who work there. Rachman's ability to create a diverse group of fully formed individuals is remarkable. Characters range from a kid just out of college who learns the hard way that he doesn't want to be a reporter, to an Italian diplomat's widow. Some are instantly sympathetic, others hard to like. Each is vivid and compelling in his or her own way. The individual stories work well independently, even better as the author skillfully weaves them together. Cameo appearances become significant when informed by everything the reader already knows about a character who flits in and out of another's story. The novel isn't perfect. The interpolated chapters about the paper's past aren't very interesting; the final entry ends with a ghastly shock; and the postscript is too cute. Nevertheless, it's a very strong debut. Funny, humane and artful. Agent: Susan Golomb/Susan Golomb Agency Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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