Celeste's Reviews > The Imperfectionists

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
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's review
Feb 06, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2012
Read from August 05 to 18, 2012

I don't remember why I bought this book, just that I had it on my Kindle for a little while.

When I read the reviews of it and the little synopsis about it, I thought that it was a novel that centered around an interesting collection of colleagues at a newspaper. I was expecting a traditional novel and ensemble cast, but what I found out, after a few chapters (or sections or whatever they are) is that it's really just a group of short stories or vignettes about the different people who are associated with the newspaper in some way. They read as pretty disjointed and not all of the characterization was done well. Some characters were too one-dimensional to pull off being the protagonist of their sections. And I found myself wondering why the hell I needed to know so much about a person if I was not going to stay with him or her very long. By and large, the characters were either unlikeable or boring. There also seemed to be a half-hearted attempt to tie them together a little by mentioning them in other sections or letting them cameo somewhere else. I was not amused.

But it wasn't the worst thing I'd read. Some of the sections were pretty funny or sad or heartwarming. The writing was not bad at all. Really, the framing of the thing did it in. If the author had just stuck to one section and focused it, including a few of the others as support, it would have been a much better novel.

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