Miz Moffatt's Reviews > The Imperfectionists

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
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's review
Feb 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: canadian, literary-fiction, giller-prize-longlist
Read in February, 2011

Tom Rachman delivers a sharp, fresh novel rife with humour and a cast of compelling misfits locked into the world of twenty-first-century journalism. With his diverse background as an AP correspondent and with his international credentials, Rachman offers a colourful portrait of the stressors of the newsroom, and examines the often conflicting nature of the personalities therein.

Immediate favourites include: Arthur Gopal, the unambitious obituaries writer who discovers his voice in the wake of personal tragedy; Herman Cohen, the anal-retentive corrections editor with his ever-expanding Bible of printed errors and his monthly newsletter Why?; Ruby Zaga, the frustrated copyeditor torn between her resentment for the paper and her family's perception of her "glamorous" life in Rome; and Oliver Ott, the failed junior of the Ott empire who can only relate to his basset hound, Schopenhauer.

Overall, readers will revel in Rachman's promising debut—and heck, rumours of Brad Pitt's interest in a silver screen rendition of The Imperfectionists can't hurt, either.

Ideal for: Former, current, or future members of the press eager to compare their newsroom scars; avid fans of Rome and the potential drama therein; copyeditors who can relate to Herman Cohen's delightfully frustrated Why? collection.

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