book review: the imperfectionists

by sam on 02/7/2011

The ImperfectionistsThe Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

Another novel that is essentially a series of short-story-esque vignettes about people who are connected to one another (like a visit from the goon squad), this time the employees and other assorted folks associated with a failing international newspaper based in Rome. The author worked for the International Herald Tribune before it died, so it’s obviously a subject close to his heart.

It took me a little while to get into the story, but once it got going (and I figured out how the timeline worked), I really enjoyed it. Each “modern day” story of an individual character is followed by a brief vignette from the history of the paper, from it’s founding, through it’s heyday, up until it’s decline and eventual shuttering. Very nicely woven together, with parts that made me incredibly sad and at least one part that had me laugh out loud in public when I was reading it. Definitely recommend.