The Imperfectionists: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)

The Imperfectionists - Tom Rachman 'The Imperfectionists' is successful not because it engages in the larger issues, but because it establishes a flawed cast as being almost too small for the stage they're given. This is a novel of shortcomings, opportunities missed, vindictiveness, jealousy, blindness to character, regret--but done in a way that never demeans or makes unsympathetic its central figures. Framing these loosely connected chapters within the history of a newspaper in decline casts the entire book as one futile effort of insignificant people against inevitability; they remain observers against whom a larger world operates, who find occasion to bare themselves and are pierced by the experience. Not a sad novel, or a vindictive one, but one that seems to find its way to the core of imperfection: that people are brought to failure as much as they come to it already broken.