Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Imperfectionists - Rachman

Tom Rachman

The Imperfectionists chronically the lives of the journalists working for an American News Paper in Rome. Each story follows a different person as they work, play, mourn and more often then not contemplate a life outside of journalism. The stories themselves are connected by two or three pages at the end of each chapter that show the progress of the paper from a chance to be close to a former love, to a financial almost success, to it's failure.

I've been struggling with this review for a few days. I like The Imperfectionists, but I think a lot of my enjoyment was more centered around it being my first e-book then on the stories I was reading. The chapter/story titles were intriguing, and often the thing i was looking most forward to.

I'm starting to really have a problem with collections of short stories being marketed as novels. Just by putting in a few pages of back story after a completely unrelated chapter doesn't give you a novel. In fact the back story with the Ott group completely put me off. There wasn't enough time devoted to it in the beginning to really care about it, then I just came to dread there irrelevant appearance.

It's not that I didn't like The Imperfectionists, it's just that I liked it just enough for it not to be mediocre. I don't usually give out real ratings, but if I did, this is a perfect example of 3.5 stars. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but it left me with nothing, not a character to haunt me, or a storyline to continue to think about. I put my kindle down and was done.

8 comments:

Kathy said...

This one's on my wish list (though I can't remember why I put it there) but it sounds kind of disappointing. The best books are the ones that you mull over for days afterwards!

Chelle said...

Hmm, interesting review! It's always disappointing to finish a book and not feel anything afterward.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Sorry, this did not work out well for you.

Lucia said...

There has been a lot of buzz about this book, and yet the reviews reflect disappointed readers. A hodge-podge structure like what you described is my greatest annoyance, so maybe I'll give this a miss.

Whitney said...

Bummer, The Perfectionists looked very interesting. I didn't realize it was short stories, which I'm not a huge fan of, so I think I'll delete this from my wish list. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the book but thanks for your honest review.

Emily said...

This is a very good review. I totally know what you mean when you say that it is just better than mediocre. I've reviewed a lot of books like that, and when I read a review that has that description I am definitely inclined to stay away from the book. I've heard a lot of other people that were disappointed with this book as well. Maybe it's a case of too much undeserved hype. I'm also not sure how I feel about short story collections being marketed as novels. I love short stories, but I'm not quite sure that the two forms are really that interchangeable. I haven't read enough books in that format to be really sure, but it seems like it might lend itself to structural problems.

Laura C. said...

This is kind of how I felt about Oscar Wao despite others really loving it. I'm going to read this one soon since it just came out in paperback. It's nice to read a realistic review of it.

I gave you an award over at my blog if you want to check it out:

http://hawthornescarlet.blogspot.com/2011/01/long-overdue.html

Jenny O. said...

Wow. I've had this on my TBR for some time and had no idea it was a SS collection.