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onceacurmudgeon

To all the pages I've read before

Currently reading

The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving-Kindness
Pema Chödrön
River of Smoke: A Novel
Amitav Ghosh
Alif the Unseen
G. Willow Wilson
Half of a Yellow Sun
Taoist Qigong for Health and Vitality: A Complete Program of Movement, Meditation, and Healing Sounds
Sea of Poppies
Amitav Ghosh
AyurVeda: The Science of Self-Healing
Medicine Buddha Teachings
Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: The Spiritual Classic and International Bestseller
The Fault in Our Stars
John Green

The Imperfectionists

The Imperfectionists - First, this is not a novel. I would not take any issue with that aside from that big glomming A Novel tag on the cover. This is a series of interconnected stories. They are very well done stories, but just because they circle the same sun, a newspaper, does not make this a novel.I was very smitten with this as I started reading it. It was cleaver and every character foible, slip up, or just plain mistake felt like a ringing metaphor for the impending death of print journalism. And while I in no way think Rachman recycled specific motifs to show this, it grew a bit tiresome over time. It felt old by the end, like people were saying goodbye to a sitcom you never watched rather than a good friend whose adventures you followed every day on page six.I really enjoyed how each chapter was broken up with short histories of the paper. Though I would have liked to see them interplay a bit more thematically with the modern day chapters, which focus directly on the current day and each from a different character's perspective.I found the most interesting chapter to be about a woman who read every issue of the paper like a novel. It took her days to read each one, and she was more than a decade behind in the news. There was actual plot development in her story, and she changed for the better. And while all the other characters as well, I can hardly say many did by choice or for the better. Now that I think about it, I like that the character I most care to know what happens in her future is just a reader of the paper. Even when the last physical paper shuts down, news readers will always have a future in other mediums. And I hope Rachman did this on purpose. It really works.Rachman's writing is pleasing, if nothing spectacular. His word play can not tie cherry stems in knots with its tongue, but it kept me engaged though out. And once I was into a chapter I rarely needed to come up for air.I think my main problem with this book is the single over riding metaphor it rests on. It is a balloon that is over inflated until it pops, yet there is about 80 pages yet to go.