Tom Rachman's first novel will set him on the literary map of the world.
He makes us care about people who are both flawed and immensely engaging - about their lives, their families, and about the larger family that is their newspaper.
The Imperfectionists tells stories about the peculiar people who write and read an international newspaper based in Rome: the obituary reporter who will do anything to avoid work, the Mideast correspondent who has no clue how to produce a news story, the grumpy editors at headquarters, the devoted subscribers aroudn the world, and the dog-obsessed publisher who seems less interested in his struggling newspaper than in his magnificent basset hound, Schopenhauer.
While the news of the day rushes past - war in Iraq, terrorism, the roller-coaster economy - the true front-page stories for all of them are the blunders and triumphs of their own lives.
The Imperfectionists touches on the fall of newspapers and the rise of technology but, above all, it is a moving novel about eleven unusual, endearing characters.