This first novel by Tom Rachman, a London-born journalist who has lived and worked all over the world, is so good I had to read it twice simply to figure out how he pulled it off. I almost feel sorry for Rachman, because a debut of this order sets the bar so high. By , his grandson, Oliver, will be in charge of the fates of the staff members whose stories make up the novel. The stories interlock, or interlace or inter-something. Each chapter could stand alone as a short story.
|Published (Last):||12 October 2018|
|PDF File Size:||12.54 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||5.94 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
The proprietor talks only to his dog. The obituary writer is only slightly more alive than those he writes about. The female sub-editor is torn between her need to hang on to the job and her desperate desire to be sacked.
The original proprietor started up the paper so that he could employ an old flame, even though he had to have her husband on the payroll too. However bad things are for them, journalists can take some consolation from the fact that their situation cannot be quite as disastrous as at the fictional newspaper portrayed in The Imperfectionists: a funny novel of the sweet-and-sour variety, its humour leavened with real sadness.
Although it is never given a name, The Daily Loser would do as a working title for this international newspaper written in English by Americans based in Rome, with a dwindling band of stringers in Europe and an even faster dwindling band of readers. It doesn't have a website. Members of staff stagger their going-home times so they don't have to share the lift. In an opening passage that will seem only too convincing to struggling freelancers, the paper's occasional correspondent in Paris tries to interest the news editor in a feature about a French delicacy consisting of a blind finch drowned in cognac, only to receive the perennial put down of "You have anything else?
Since she refuses to miss a single copy, she remains in a s time-warp — and then she hits the bumpers with 24 April , which is missing. The most toe-curling character is an ace bullshitter of a reporter, or possibly a mere blogger, who claims to have met Osama Bin Laden: "Back in Tora Bora. Good times". He latches on to a young, would-be journo, takes over his bed, nicks his laptop, appropriates his cash, and sleeps with the hackette he fancies.
Tom Rachman has worked as a foreign correspondent and his characters, although exaggerated, ring only too true. To avoid former colleagues who might recognise themselves, he would be best advised to stick to the novel writing. They might take a dim view of the hackette's sneering verdict that "Journalism is a bunch of dorks pretending to be alpha males.
You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium.
It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium.
The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium.
Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate.
Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Long reads. Coronavirus Advice. Lockdown Guide.
UK Politics. Lib Dems. Green Party. Boris Johnson. Jeremy Corbyn. US Politics. Help The Hungry. Shappi Khorsandi. Mary Dejevsky. Robert Fisk. Mark Steel. Janet Street-Porter. John Rentoul.
Matthew Norman. Sean O'Grady. Tom Peck. Andrew Grice. Stop the Wildlife Trade. Rugby union. US sports. Miguel Delaney. Streaming Hub. Geoffrey Macnab. Clarisse Loughrey. Ed Cumming. Royal Family. Tech news. Tech culture. The Competition. Money transfers. Health insurance.
Money Deals. Voucher Codes. Just Eat. National Trust. Climate Blogs. UK Edition. US Edition. Log in using your social network account. Please enter a valid password. Keep me logged in. Want an ad-free experience? Subscribe to Independent Premium. View offers. Download the new Independent Premium app Sharing the full story, not just the headlines Download now.
Enter your email address Continue Continue Please enter an email address Email address is invalid Fill out this field Email address is invalid Email already exists. Update newsletter preferences. Comments Share your thoughts and debate the big issues. Join the discussion. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. Create a commenting name to join the debate Submit. Please try again, the name must be unique Only letters and numbers accepted.
Loading comments Please try again, the name must be unique. Cancel Post. There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts.
Follow comments Enter your email to follow new comments on this article. Thanks for subscribing! Vote Are you sure you want to submit this vote? Submit vote Cancel. You must be logged in to vote. Report Comment Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? Cancel Flag comment. Subscribe to Independent Premium to debate the big issues Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?
Subscribe Already registered? Log in. Flag comment Cancel.
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
July is Readers' Choice Month. You can also submit questions for Tom in advance. Work is often hard, and office work—with its elements of monotony, anxiety, and anguish—presents a particular kind of hardship. Rachman—who has worked as a reporter and editor in Rome and around the world—has created an exhilarating portrait of contemporary journalism, at once loving and scornful. The whole enterprise is kept alive by the whims of a large, inattentive holding company in Atlanta. The novel is a great insider read about an industry furiously, though haplessly, treading water.
Review: The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman
Look Inside Reading Guide. Reading Guide. Kathleen, the imperious editor in chief, is smarting from a betrayal in her open marriage; Arthur, the lazy obituary writer, is transformed by a personal tragedy; Abby, the embattled financial officer, discovers that her job cuts and her love life are intertwined in a most unexpected way. Out in the field, a veteran Paris freelancer goes to desperate lengths for his next byline, while the new Cairo stringer is mercilessly manipulated by an outrageous war correspondent with an outsize ego. Spirited, moving, and highly original, The Imperfectionists will establish Tom Rachman as one of our most perceptive, assured literary talents. Tom Rachman was born in London in and raised in Vancouver. The other half comes from his sparkling descriptions not only of newspaper office denizens but of the tricks of their trade, presented in language that is smartly satirical yet brimming with affection.