January 13, 2011

The Imperfectionists

Oh what a treat it was to listen to Tom Rachman describe what inspired him to write this book and how he managed to do it.  The Univ of Toronto's Innis College invited the author for the launch of the paperback version.  He walked in dressed like someone who's lived in Europe for a while. Polished casual wear with sleek leather shoes even though there's snow outside.  Oh and then there's the British accent.  Before he even speaks he's dreamy. 
What's wonderful is when he does reach the podium and speaks after an introduction describing the praises for his first novel (NY Times endorsements,  top 10 books of the year from Macleans, etc), there isn't an ounce of arrogance displayed. In fact it's quite the opposite. There is a man who describes his struggles with career choices, with editorial criticism, with feelings of defeat and endless questioning of his own abilities.  You can sense the work and effort that he poured into this novel and how lucky we are that he didn't give it up.
It was his realization that he was an imperfect journalist that inspired the book and it's themes. The novel revolves around a small newspaper in Rome that experiences the economic and technical challenges faced by all newspapers today. It's a wonderful book and even if you aren't in media you'll appreciate the office camaraderie, politics and business challenges faced by most organizations today.  BTW Brad Pitt bought the rights to it  for film production.

Overall Rating **** (4 stars out of 5)

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