Monday, August 8, 2011

The Imperfectionists

I wanted to read The Imperfectionists from the moment I heard about it yet I never got around to doing so. Finally, someone returned a copy belonging to another library at my library and so I thought it was time.

Well worth the wait. I enjoyed this book immensely. This is another one of those books (it's almost becoming gimmicky) told by a multitude of characters with each chapter being told by one of the characters. It ends up being a collection of short stories in a sense but unlike in, say, A Visit From the Goon Squad, the stories are much more interrelated.

The story is about a dying, once great, European newspaper. Each chapter is from someone having to do with the paper ranging from editors, writers, human resources, to a reader. Interspersed between the chapters is a page or three about the history of the paper.

Rachman does a great job developing the personalities of the characters. Beyond that, he also showed how certain characters were misjudged by those who interacted with them. You see how certain characters view others but then you reach that characters' story and you see that there is more than meets the eye. So even though you only get a character's perspective for one chapter, they continue to be fleshed out in ensuing chapters (or are hinted at before their chapter is reached).

Rachman is a former journalist and he seems to have covered all the bases in this novel from the highest supervisor down to a guy trying to catch on with the paper as a stringer. I thought it was a well done book from beginning to end and one I could see myself re-reading some day.

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