Katherine's Reviews > The Imperfectionists

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
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's review
Oct 26, 10

bookshelves: fiction
Read in October, 2010

“If history has taught us anything, Arthur muses, it is that men with mustaches must never achieve positions of power” (30).
“An ebony coffee table bears an overflowing ashtray and a moonscape of stain rings from hot mugs that spilled” (34).
“ ‘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 inauthentic tales’” (37).
“ ‘I say that ambition is absurd, and yet I remain in its thrall. It’s like being a slave all your life, then learning one day that you never had a master, and returning to work all the same’” (37).
“ ‘Here is a fact: nothing in all civilization 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 love of man to be worshipped by man’” (38).
“ ‘You know there’s that silly saying ‘We’re born alone and we die alone’—it’s nonsense. We’re surrounded at birth and surrounded at death. It is in between that we’re alone’” (38),
“The place was four stories of stone, painted orange and brown, with long yellow shutters, giving the impression of habitable marzipan” (73).
"What is the value in remonstrating with such a feckless triumverate?" (77).
“…if they were to imagine him outside office hours, they would picture him alone, eating thin sandwiches, reading the ingredients off the bread package” (186).
“New got cooler, quieter, cleaner” (201).
“Her hair is yellow, dyed at great expense and pulled back in a bun so tight that the canvas of her face appears to be held fast by the knot at the back of her head” (209).
"But, no: if you want to keep enjoying sausages, don't visit the sausage factory" (212).

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