Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

She is a wonderful nerd, and he hopes this won't change. He'd be distressed if she were cool - it's be as if his flesh and blood had grown up to be purple.

This book, though very well written, was heartbreakingly depressing. The book follows the lives of various people that work, or are associated with, an English language newspaper based in Rome. Each chapter is a short story from the perspective of a different character that is woven into the larger narrative. Each character is deeply, utterly flawed. Even the character I liked the most (Arthur Gopal) had possibly the most depressing story. The above quote is from his chapter, describing his daughter. The daughter that dies a short time later. At least at the end of Arthur's chapter there is a hint of redemption for him. Other characters are nowhere near as lucky.

I understand that most people aren't great. I understand that most people don't remain strong in the face of adversity. I don't need story after story reminding me of this fact. I do want someone to overcome. I want a protagonist I can agree with; that I could see standing if I were to meet them. Perhaps that's not a popular sentiment though. This book is a good, quick read on the up side. The writing is full of rich, colorful descriptions of both people and events. However, if you're in a happy mood read at your own risk.


Christopher said...


Crusher said...

I need to find a happy medium between my first post and this post haha