The Imperfectionists would have to be one of my favourite reads of 2010 so far - I don't think it is a perfect book by any stretch of the imagination (the title takes care of that!) but it was a perfect read for me.
The book centres on the life of an international newspaper located in Rome. The story of the newspaper is told in a series of chapters by different employees and readers of the paper with alternating shorter chapters covering the history and development of the paper which began as the idea of a wealthy American businessman wanting to keep hold of a connection with an old flame.
Each of the characters had a distinct voice and story to tell about their role in, and connection to, the paper. I thought each character could have easily had the whole book devoted to them and their point of view so while I loved how the book was structured I'm also left yearning to know more about the individual characters!
My father is a journalist and I have grown up in the world of newspaper production and the media and it is a world that holds a lot of interest for me so I especially loved the sections of the book that delved a little deeper into the production of the news. Having said this though, I don't think the author gets bogged down in detail - it is very much a character driven novel with the main character being the paper itself. I thought one of the main messages in the book was how print media is a dying breed - and how this impacts on the people working in this career but also on how we receive and pass on the news of the world.
A fantastic read - hope there is much more to come from this author.