The Imperfectionists

Tom Rachman

Much buzz around this book, so much, and so much of it guild related (i.e. the journalism, or newspaper hack guild), that I approached it with trepidation, and was prepared to be disappointed.
This book has its charms, for sure. Although the overall effect didn’t completely blow me away, in line with the hype, there were three chapters which, by themselves, were worth the price of admission:
The Paris-based, burnt-out, serially-divorced, alienated from his offspring character who fabricates a scoop to get back in the game.
The poseur foreign correspondent who parachutes into Cairo to bigfoot another clueless character who is looking for a break as a stringer.
And the halting romantic late in the book between the female executive and the guy in sales who she has laid off.
In all three of these sections, the characters are conceived with wonderful human richness, and the dialogue is simply cracking. No small feat, any of this, for a first time novelist.
Forget the hype but read the book. Hats off to Tom Rachman.

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