The novel follows the struggle, and eventual demise, of an English-language newspaper in Italy, as seen through the consciousness of the staff members who are struggling themselves. The novel is divided into short stories, each revolving around a specific character and how they relate to the rest of the newspaper’s crew. Every chapter reveals how, or what, each person is: unveiling idiosyncrasies and natures, exposing emotions and insecurities.
I am partial to novels like this, where characters are given their own space to develop and refine their voices. It is interesting to see the characters without their masks before they are thrust into the open arena of the overarching plot, where weaker characters can easily drown without fruition. Imperfectionists focuses on its characters first, which makes the entire novel so captivating and, at the same time, unsettling. The novel is done so well that neither players nor plot are lost, but develop together into a beautiful thesis on the human character, set in the rich city of Rome.
Rachman proves to be an author to watch out for with this novel. This has been one of the best written works I have read in a while.
(Five out of five)
Do you enjoy novels like The Imperfectionists?