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Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Rome, Tom Rachman's wry, vibrant debut follows the topsy-turvy private lives of the reporters, editors, and executives of an international English language newspaper as they struggle to keep it - and themselves - afloat. Fifty years and many changes have ensued since the paper was founded by an enigmatic millionaire, and now, amid the stained carpeting and dingy office furniture, the staff's personal dramas seem far more important than the daily headlines. Kathleen, the imperious editor in chief, is smarting from a betrayal in her open marriage; Arthur, the lazy obituary writer, is transformed by a personal tragedy; Abby, the embattled financial officer, discovers that her job cuts and her love life are intertwined in a most unexpected way. Out in the field, a veteran Paris freelancer goes to desperate lengths for his next byline, while the new Cairo stringer is mercilessly manipulated by an outrageous war correspondent with an outsize ego. And in the shadows is the isolated young publisher who pays more attention to his prized basset hound, Schopenhauer, than to the fate of his family's quirky newspaper. As the era of print news gives way to the Internet age and this imperfect crew stumbles toward an uncertain future, the paper's rich history is revealed, including the surprising truth about its founder's intentions. Spirited, moving, and highly original, The Imperfectionists will establish Tom Rachman as one of our most perceptive, assured literary talents.
"The Italian Teacher is a marvel--an entertaining, heartbreaking novel about art, family, loyalty, and authenticity. Tom Rachman is an enormously talented writer--this book is alive, from the first page to the last." Tom Perrotta, bestselling author of Mrs. Fletcher A masterful novel about the son of a great painter striving to create his own legacy, by the bestselling author of The Imperfectionists. Conceived while his father, Bear, cavorted around Rome in the 1950s, Pinch learns quickly that Bear's genius trumps all. After Bear abandons his family, Pinch strives to make himself worthy of his father's attention--first trying to be a painter himself; then resolving to write his father's biography; eventually settling, disillusioned, into a job as an Italian teacher in London. But when Bear dies, Pinch hatches a scheme to secure his father's legacy--and make his own mark on the world. With his signature humanity and humor, Tom Rachman examines a life lived in the shadow of greatness, cementing his place among his generation's most exciting literary voices.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • The Seattle Times • The Globe and Mail • Kirkus Reviews • Daily Mail • The Vancouver Sun For fans of Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, and Donna Tartt—the brilliant, intricately woven new novel by Tom Rachman, author of The Imperfectionists Look in the back of the book for a conversation between Tom Rachman and J. R. Moehringer Following one of the most critically acclaimed fiction debuts in years, New York Times bestselling author Tom Rachman returns with a brilliant, intricately woven novel about a young woman who travels the world to make sense of her puzzling past. Tooly Zylberberg, the American owner of an isolated bookshop in the Welsh countryside, conducts a life full of reading, but with few human beings. Books are safer than people, who might ask awkward questions about her life. She prefers never to mention the strange events of her youth, which mystify and worry her still. Taken from home as a girl, Tooly found herself spirited away by a group of seductive outsiders, implicated in capers from Asia to Europe to the United States. But who were her abductors? Why did they take her? What did they really want? There was Humphrey, the curmudgeonly Russian with a passion for reading; there was the charming but tempestuous Sarah, who sowed chaos in her wake; and there was Venn, the charismatic leader whose worldview transformed Tooly forever. Until, quite suddenly, he disappeared. Years later, Tooly believes she will never understand the true story of her own life. Then startling news arrives from a long-lost boyfriend in New York, raising old mysteries and propelling her on a quest around the world in search of answers. Tom Rachman—an author celebrated for humanity, humor, and wonderful characters—has produced a stunning novel that reveals the tale not just of one woman but of the past quarter-century as well, from the end of the Cold War to the dominance of American empire to the digital revolution of today. Leaping between decades, and from Bangkok to Brooklyn, this is a breathtaking novel about long-buried secrets and how we must choose to make our own place in the world. It will confirm Rachman’s reputation as one of the most exciting young writers we have. Praise for The Rise & Fall of Great Powers “Ingenious . . . Rachman needs only a few well-drawn characters to fill a large canvas and an impressive swath of history.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times “A superb follow-up to 2010’s The Imperfectionists . . . ambitious and engaging.”—The Seattle Times “Engaging and inventive . . . full of wonderfully quirky, deeply flawed, but lovable characters . . . On the spectrum of interesting literary childhoods, Tooly Zylberberg—the protagonist of Tom Rachman’s second novel—would rank somewhere in the vicinity of Jane Eyre and Oliver Twist.”—San Francisco Chronicle “I found it impossible not to fall in love with shape-shifting Tooly. As an adult, she sports an ironical sense of humor and an attraction to dusty old books. As a child, her straight-faced mirth and wordplay are break-your-heart irresistible.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post “[A] read-it-all-in-one-weekend book.”—The New Republic “A compelling page-turner . . . intricate, sprawling, and almost Dickensian.”—USA Today From the Trade Paperback edition.
‘This book is hilariously funny and blackly despairing, often at the same time.’ Age Almost true stories for a post-truth world A Manhattan party on election night. Liberal media types gather with big grins and high-end canapés to watch the Trump-Clinton results come in, expecting a smooth victory for Hillary. As the outcome shifts and they descend into panic, the host stands abruptly before her guests, confessing a shocking crime of years before. What follows is a series of witty, cutting, addictive tales of Trump times, portraying Democrats and Republicans in a divided America, from powerful to powerless, angry to thwarted, from a Starbucks barista who dreams of making it onstage, to a couple whose online date goes bitterly awry, to a charmingly wicked US businessman living undercover in rural Italy. Basket of Deplorables is a timely take on the craziness of today: almost-true fiction for a post-truth world. Tom Rachman is the author of two novels, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers (2014) and The Imperfectionists (2010), an international bestseller that has been translated into 25 languages. Rachman, who was born in London in 1974 and raised in Vancouver, joined the Associated Press in New York and has worked as an AP correspondent in Rome and for the International Herald Tribune in Paris. His writing has appeared widely including in the New York Times and the New Statesman. He lives in London. ‘When a Tom Rachman novel lands in the bookstores I stop living and breathing to devour it. It's hard to think of anyone who has a better grasp on the world we live in (and I mean, like, the entire planet) and can write about it with such entertainment and panache.’ Garry Shteyngart on The Rise and Fall of Great Powers ‘This acutely funny novel shows the great powers in our lives are often those closest to home.’ North & South Magazine on The Rise and Fall of Great Powers ‘I'm still reeling from this powerful and provocative novel...[it] offers a gruelling assessment of humanity, mercifully tempered by some angels in disguise.’ Herald-Sun on 'The Rise and Fall of Great Powers ‘A darkly funny and timely collection, though hopefully not too topical...Basket of Deplorables should appeal to those readers who don’t mind their fiction infused with a dash of politics, not to mention fans of shows like Veep and Black Mirror.’ AU Review
No one knows us quite the same way as the men and women who sit beside us in department meetings and crowd the office refrigerator with their labeled yogurts. Every office is a family of sorts, and the ad agency Joshua Ferris brilliantly depicts in his debut novel is family at its strangest and best, coping with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks. With a demon's eye for the details that make life worth noticing, Joshua Ferris tells a true and funny story about survival in life's strangest environment--the one we pretend is normal five days a week.
Part Nick Hornby, part Jay McInerney, with a dash of vermouth, In the Rooms is a warm, sharply observed comedy about sex, lies, drinking, and second chances London literary agent Patrick Miller comes to New York dreaming of joining the big league, only to find himself selling celebrity dog books. But when he spots legendary novelist Douglas Kelsey on the street and follows him into an AA meeting, a world of opportunity beckons. Who knew that sobriety offered such networking possibilities? Or that the women would be so attractive? Soon he's a regular attendee at AA meetings, but there's only one problem—he's not an alcoholic.
Today Show Book Club Pick An extraordinarily haunting love story told in the voice of a man who appears to age backwards We are each the love of someone's life. So begins The Confessions of Max Tivoli, a heartbreaking love story with a narrator like no other. At his birth, Max's father declares him a "nisse," a creature of Danish myth, as his baby son has the external physical appearance of an old, dying creature. Max grows older like any child, but his physical age appears to go backward--on the outside a very old man, but inside still a fearful child. The story is told in three acts. First, young Max falls in love with a neighborhood girl, Alice, who ages as normally as any of us. Max, of course, does not; as a young man, he has an older man's body. But his curse is also his blessing: as he gets older, his body grows younger, so each successive time he finds his Alice, she does not recognize him. She takes him for a stranger, and Max is given another chance at love. Set against the historical backdrop of San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century, Max's life and confessions question the very nature of time, of appearance and reality, and of love itself. A beautiful and daring feat of the imagination, Andrew Sean Greer's The Confessions of Max Tivoli reveals the world through the eyes of a "monster," a being who confounds the very certainties by which we live and in doing so embodies in extremis what it means to be human.

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