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The Imposters

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Member Reviews

Set during the pandemic and all the other issues in the world, this is Dora Frenhofer's story, as well as her stories. She's a little-known Dutch novelist, in her early 70s, trying to write what could be, will be, her last novel, writing because she's always loved to write, writing to stave off the world, a writer writing the stories within this novel and her own. Clever, acidic, though she is not one to seek pity, there is, despite the pathos and sadness, also hope and humor running through the novel, and the stories within the novel, and her life and the lives of her characters. I'm a Tom Rachman fan and this novel, like The Imperfectionists, is compelling and immersive.

Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown for the ARC.
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Honestly such a disappointment of a book from one of my all-time favorite authors. This is such a departure from his usual epic novels. Instead, it was inconsistent, choppy, hard to follow, and just not very good. Unfortunately I had to struggle to finish it, I'm not sure why the departure when his storytelling has worked so well in the past.
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This book was the absolute perfect match for me. It has everything I like in a work of fiction wrapped up into one.

The structure is very unique and original. The book is about an elderly novelist, Dora, who is contemplating her own demise. The reader learns about Dora through reading the chapters of her latest novel, interspersed with diary entries. And then, the reader becomes privy to how how Dora's writing was influenced by her real life and how her stories revealed her inner truth.

It's not the easiest structure to contend with, but so rewarding for literary fiction lovers. There are so many insights on life, writing, and relationships woven into one short novel.

The fictional chapters written by Dora have the appeal of short stories in that they often delivered a punch, but are not neatly tied up with a bow. If you need to know every single thing that happens to a character in order to feel satisfied, you won't love this, but I prefer how Rachman let's the reader fill in some of the blanks, do some of the work.

Honestly, I just want to re-read the whole book now from the beginning, knowing what I know now at the end.

So, so good. I know this isn't for every reader, and if you need a linear storyline, this won't be for you. This was challenging in all the best ways without being actually at all hard to read. The characters are drawn with such skill.
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I read a lot of books thanks to this wonderful site. This is the best book I've read in a long time. Now I've really enjoyed all of Rachman's book. This one is typically outstanding. An aging novelist. You see how life experiences translate into the work she produces. The writing is so good. If you like Rachman. get it. If you don't know Rachman, get it!

Netgalley provided me a free e-galley in return for this honest review.
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Something tells me The Imposters is going to be the kind of book people either love or hate. You can count me in the camp that LOVED it. It's so cleverly written and engaging and it acted as a reminder for me of the incredible power that talented writers have to drop us into new worlds.

I'll admit that after I read about 10 pages, I wasn't sure this book was for me. I actually looked at a couple other reviews and someone said that it starts off a bit weird, but that soon it will all start making sense. So, I decided to give it a chance and I'm SO glad I did.

Novelist Dora Frenhover is writing her final book before retiring. We, the readers, are essentially dropped into her fictional world and given an inside peek at her writing process. Each "story" in the book is, on the surface, unrelated to others, but slowly, you'll likely start to see things that are tied together and things that are incorporated from Dora's real life. It's a bit mind bend-y in a way and the kind of book I want to immediately read again after finishing because I'm sure there's so much that I missed.

Parts of it are a bit depressing -- Dora is aging and mind is starting to go a bit, plus she's been through some stuff in life. And it's definitely the kind of novel that requires a little bit of work from readers. But I liked that!

As someone who has read her fair share of short stories, I have to say there is something masterful about the way Rachman writes them. Within the first few sentence, I feel completely immersed in the world he has created. His characterization is so vivid for me and I was constantly impressed as I read.

I had an early electronic copy of this book, but I will definitely be purchasing it when it comes out for a re-read. And now I want to go back and re-read all of Rachman's books and read the couple I haven't read just yet.
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"The Imposters," explores the power of storytelling and its relation to the human experience. The novel follows Dora, an embittered, once famous novelist, struggling to finish her final work. She mines her life for characters - blurring the line between reality and fiction (if it ever existed). Told in multiple perspectives this novel is as rewarding as it is difficult to describe - read it!
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Like a set of nesting dolls the characters in "The Imposters" are revealed one at a time, each with their own story but tied together by one character, Dora Frenhofer. Dora is an aging novelist, not very well known, but in her later years trying to squeeze out that one last novel. Each story told is tied to her life in some way. For readers who love character development and character based novels this on should definitely be on your TBR list. 
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Thank you NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company  for the opportunity to read and review THE IMPOSTERS  by Tom Rachman as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC). The novel explores the life and mind of Dora Frenhofer, a Dutch author, during the Covid lockdowns. Dora struggles with her aging mind as she tries to write one last novel. 

Chapters include various ‘characters’ that weave together a broader understanding of Dora and the world she is trying to make sense of as her mind slips away. By the end of the novel, readers are left with a moment to gather the pieces of an intricately written puzzle and make sense of Dora and her life. 

There are brilliant moments in the writing where Dora’s mind incorrectly uses a word or phrase that readers will identify with and most likely smile because they have done the same thing. However, even though the writing was rich and emotive, the fragmented chapters that eventually tie together at the end could be challenging for readers of this style. 

A story about memory, reflection, and holding on to who we think we are, THE IMPOSTERS is a thoughtful and intellectual read that reminds readers about the shared experience of identity, loss, and life.
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Tom Rachman’s debut novel The Imperfectionists proved one of the best books I’ve ever read. A series of interlocking vignettes follows the reporters, editors and benefactors of a thinly veiled version of The International Herald-Tribune. In The Imposters, Rachman follows the same format with chapters of characters who interact with a B-list author based in London. Some are close to her; others are connected only tangentially. But I just couldn’t stick with it, as much as I tried. I came back to the novel again and again, but I abandoned it three-fifths of the way through. Rachman’s characters were all so self-absorbed and shallow — and not in an instructive way, either.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company in exchange for an honest review.
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Always will I take the opportunity to read a book by Tom Rachman, whose ingenious, creative plots and characters  stand out in the world of memorable fiction  
The Imposters did not disappoint. Dora Frenhofer, is an aging Dutch author who is concerned that her memory is slipping as she grows older. She is determined to write one last book to leave as a legacy after she is gone. It is set during the Covid lockdown where many of us were left alone  with our thoughts of better or worse times: when our very existence seemed tenuous. 
 Using distinct chapters, which are each stories within the story, Dora/ Mr Rachman  highlights a person who has been meaningful to her life. Ultimately  the characters link together. As the chapters continue, eventually there is a bittersweet turning point which enables the reader to consider the love, friendships, triumphs ,mistakes  and self determination that make up a person’s existence.  
At times the chapters and connections require some extra thought and effort to understand. It is not light reading. Instead, this novel is intense, thought provoking and important. 
Many thanks to #Netgalley and publisher #Little,Brown and Co for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I have been a fan of his prior work but struggled with this one.The central character is Dora Frenhofer , an elderly writer confined to her house during covid,who fears incipient senility and is committed to writing her one final novel.The subsequent chapters are devoted to many of the people who played an intricate part in her life.As always with Rachman, it is well written,but I struggled to tie it all together, found it too fragmented and too difficult to follow. The final chapter is interesting and introspective for Dora-if you read it you can .draw your own conclusion.For me, not an easy read. Would be interested to hear other opinions.
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I was highly intrigued by the concept of this one but not familiar with Tom Rachman's work first-hand. From what I had seen and heard, I understood he was one of those authors readers either love or just don't connect with. I'm afraid I'm in the latter crew here... 

While the writing was extremely strong and evocative, the way he tells the story was a little too freeform for me and I really struggled to hold the threads together. I am definitely a fan of a more traditional narrative style. I understood the concept going in, and even had a spoiler that should have helped, but I somehow just never felt fully engaged with this one... It was just not a good fit for me.
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This is one of those fascinating books that you think is confusing at the beginning but becomes clear as you read further and discover that each of the "characters" is a persona in the protagonist's aging mind. I got wrapped up in each of them and it was great to amuse myself at the end figuring out how each related to her. I have heard of Rachman before but not read his other so now I must!
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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"The Imposters" is set during the pandemic and is a complex, cleverly written novel about an aging novelist who has limited time before she loses her faculties. The plot is layered with characters from the novelist's life, with some stories that may appeal more than others. Recommended for fans of Tom Rachman and for those who enjoy multiple characters and points of view. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
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I would very much like to have a sit down with Tom and ask him what he intended for this book.  I am just a humble reader, with a deep love of books, but I was very perplexed by this one. As the chapters kept changing themes, and tone, I must say I got a bit lost. I didn't think the transitions helped understand the story of or lack there of, and nor did I find any new characters very appealing. I  appreciated the chapter on the brothers who end of in some prison, maybe in Syria, but then what happened?

The book has some good writing, and obviously the author is skilled, but maybe, just maybe he got bored himself so he wanted to change up the chapters, introduce characters to see how it feels and get the reader tied up in knots. I found myself being frustrated and could not wrap my arms about what I liked really. 

I am not one to be so harsh, I know writing takes tremendous skill, but I think this book was written during Covid, let's just leave it at that.
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The Imposters
by Tom Rachman

This is the first book I have read written by Tom Rachman. Of course, I had to read The Imperfectionists, I loved the book. The book was very good, the Imposters will make you think, smile, and grab you by the heart and hand. WOW does not describe this book. Grab it and feel it.
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Yay Tom Rachman! The Imperfectionists is one of my all time favorite books - a book I still think about 13 years later.!!! I could not wait to read this book did not disappoint !!!

In the Imposters, we meet Dora Frenhofer, an octogenarian writer, worried that she is losing her mind to age. She is working on a final book and we are given a front row seat to the process.

Each chapter introduces us to a new character that is tied to an existing person in Dora's life. It's easy to forget immediately, however, as Rachman builds an entirely new story. It's up to you, at the end to draw conclusions from all of the chapters and characters together at the end. 

I can't recommend this incredible book enough!  There is no other book like it to compare it to! 

Travel to Australia, Paris, Syria and Copenhagen, meet angry, sad, strong, and struggling characters and live life as Doris (and Rachman) write it. A beautiful cornucopia of struggles. If you are searching for an amazing and unforgettable reading experience, love great literature and stories or just want to travel the world in times of Covid, The Imposters is for you! #LittleBrownandcompany
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