Kasa Cotugno's Reviews > Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch

Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch by Richard Hine
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's review
Sep 04, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: genre-humor-satire, arc, subject-recession
Read in September, 2010

This is the latest in what has become a subgenre of novels I call Recessionary Fables in which a Man On The Verge is employed at a company that is either forced to change or go out of business altogether. "Wiley" contains humor as biting as in The Ask, a hero as perplexed as in The Unnamed, and while the writing is not as sharp or the structure as intriguing as And Then We Came to The End, the conflict is compelling. There is a lot of humor here, and the denoument may be a bit facile, but it was an enjoyable book, a welcome insider's look at the world of publishing and how it is coping with the attempt to capture of a younger audience it needs in order to survive. Making the segue to digital presentation while retaining its dignity can be hazardous, and the fact that Wiley's marriage is foundering doesn't help his frame of mind. In all these books, the personal lives of their protagonists are remarkably similar which means that these parts can be skimmed without losing the bite of the original intent of the basic story.
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