I’ve got to get a freaking button for this series. Make it all official and stuff.
Anyway, this week’s book that I’m just dying to read was brought to my attention early this morning when I opened my feed reader and saw my friend Jessica had a new post. Her review left me itching to read this book now, and I’ve put it high on my wishlist of books to buy next time I’m binging on books.
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
• Hardcover: 288 pages
• Publisher: The Dial Press (April 6, 2010)
Here’s what Jessica said in her review of The Imperfectionists: “It’s the story of an English-language newspaper in Rome and the characters who work there. I do mean ‘characters.’ Each chapter focuses on a different person, with intervals describing the founding of the paper. By turns endearing, pitiful, sinister, and heartbreaking, these interrelated personal stories twist tighter together until things start to maybe snap a little.
“I have to tell you, when you read this (because you must), pop back on here when you are introduced to Snyder. I was so affected by this character that I had to put the book down for a couple hours and pull myself together.”
While that’s enough for me, here’s the starred review from Publisher’s Weekly:
“In his zinger of a debut, Rachman deftly applies his experience as foreign correspondent and editor to chart the goings-on at a scrappy English-language newspaper in Rome. Chapters read like exquisite short stories, turning out the intersecting lives of the men and women who produce the paper—and one woman who reads it religiously, if belatedly. In the opening chapter, aging, dissolute Paris correspondent Lloyd Burko pressures his estranged son to leak information from the French Foreign Ministry, and in the process unearths startling family fare that won’t sell a single edition. Obit writer Arthur Gopal, whose overarching goal at the paper is indolence, encounters personal tragedy and, with it, unexpected career ambition. Late in the book, as the paper buckles, recently laid-off copyeditor Dave Belling seduces the CFO who fired him. Throughout, the founding publisher’s progeny stagger under a heritage they don’t understand. As the ragtag staff faces down the implications of the paper’s tilt into oblivion, there are more than enough sublime moments, unexpected turns and sheer inky wretchedness to warrant putting this on the shelf next to other great newspaper novels.”
So whaddya think? Yay? Nay? I don’t know that Publisher’s Weekly would have sold me on it based on their description, but Jessica’s description and enthusiasm for it makes it a must read for me.