Thursday, July 22, 2010
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
This is about the intersecting lives of the men and women who produce a newspaper—and one woman who reads it religiously, if belatedly. Although the chapters clearly intersect, it reads like a short story. In the opening chapter, aging, dissolute Paris correspondent Lloyd Burko pressures his estranged son to leak information from the French Foreign Ministry, and in the process unearths startling family fare that won't sell a single edition. Obit writer Arthur Gopal, whose overarching goal at the paper is indolence, encounters personal tragedy and, with it, unexpected career ambition. Late in the book, as the paper buckles, recently laid-off copyeditor Dave Belling seduces the CFO who fired him. Throughout, the founding publisher's progeny stagger under a heritage they don't understand. As the ragtag staff faces down the implications of the paper's tilt into oblivion, there are more than enough sublime moments, unexpected turns and sheer inky wretchedness to warrant putting this on the shelf next to other great newspaper novels. Despite my not enjoying short stories, I did find this book very engagine. If you enjoy short stories, you will love this book.
Rating: 4.3 Recommend