Nancy's Reviews > The Imperfectionists

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
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's review
Dec 05, 2011

really liked it
Read in December, 2011

I know I shouldn't, but I've been puzzling over how to classify this book. It is original enough to escape that effort, but perhaps the statement that I was puzzled says something. The book is like a very large jigsaw puzzle and, voila! after about 1,000 pieces the larger landscape starts to come into focus.

Rachman has written slender slices of life for a dozen or more characters and, as the novel unfolds, they morph from individual flowers or trees into part of a much more complex image.

Charting the course of a second-rate international newspaper and its staff was an interesting background for the quirks and insecurities of the book's characters. If I had to quibble, I'd complain about the lack of closure on the readers relationship with so many characters. We are introduced; we have a few shared experiences; and we eventually learn of their "career arc." But, this book was really not about their careers, so much was left unexplored.

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