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Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  401 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Russell Wiley is in deep trouble. A media executive for the failing Daily Business Chronicle, his career is teetering on the brink of collapse, and his sexless marriage is fast approaching its expiration date. With his professional and personal lives floundering, it’s no wonder Russell is distracted, unhappy, and losing faith in himself. Making matters worse are his schemi ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by AmazonEncore (first published October 7th 2010)
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Lee Klein
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this office novel set during the dissolution of print media, symbolically paralleling Russell Wiley's existential digitization/scrambling of self into zeros and ones. Read much of it at first in manuscript way back when as the author set himself the goal of writing for ten minutes each morning. The pages he produced before he set off for the WSJ were crisp and devilishly clever, ripe for being made into a movie starring a bumbling Hugh Grant Colin Firth maybe. In published form, it's great ...more
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Funny, Humorous and Light..I dub thee 'chuck-lit'.

(Chuck-lit...chick-lit for men but manly.)

I'd love to say "If you loved Bridget Jones..." but I know the 'industry' would shake their head at that.

I don't care. I love Bridget Jones and now I love Russell Wiley.

From beginning to end, this had me laughing out loud. From office Unicorns to be-proud-of-me poopies there wasn't a TIC comic take on any of the office on-goings at the Daily Business Chronicle that I didn't get or that I didn't laugh at.

Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
Russell Wiley is facing a crisis - at home and at work. At a time when the newspaper industry is struggling and declining, Russell is working hard to win back contracts and find ways to keep the old customers and bring in new ones. Meanwhile, his boss, Henry Moss is planning for more layoffs and is scheming to prove himself to the big players in the company without any regard to his own boss. Russell's team isn't perfect either, with one manipulative manager, one young intern whose attire is the ...more
Jul 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Leaders are like Unicorns ...

As I quickly got sucked into this tale of woe, I had to stop myself several times and mentally think back and unscramble some of the references made and connect them to their real-life events. From Sam Zell to dead hikers in Oregon, my brain worked overtime to nail-down the news cycle of which this emanated. It's hard, to impossible, to not find yourself doing this as author Richard Hine does this throughout the book; not because it's cute, or an implement of his sty
Oct 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Russell Wiley Is Out To Lunch made me laugh out loud. Reading the story of Russell Wiley, trying to survive the downward spiral that is the daily business paper that employs him, was almost like watching an episode of The Office.

Russell Wiley's daily paper is facing a do or die fight for survival. Politics run rampant through the office. Loyalty is tantamount. Russell's trying to keep his job, and the jobs of his team, safe. He's got a bit of a crush on a co-worker. And he's writing astute busin
Sep 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Russell Wiley is a victim of the recession and modern times.

The author stated in an interview he conducted with himself (grin) that the book is set in 2006 because that's the official year that print died.

Russell is middle management for an almost-dead business daily that is No. 4 in a world where there's no room for more than three.

This amusing, yet poignant, story leads us through several months of Russell's life. At work, he's surrounded by people who've been living The Peter Principle (I'm
Karla Huebner
Jan 06, 2016 added it
Shelves: fiction
This novel of the woes of a middle manager in the faltering world of print business journalism (not only are things going badly at work but his wife has lost interest in sex) turned out to be both funny and sweet. At first I thought it was going to be a rather predictable satire about the corporate world--and I spent long enough working for corporations that I simultaneously want them satirized and don't want to read much more about them. Also, while I enjoy satire, I tire of the relentlessly bi ...more
Laura Lorek
Jun 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
Ugh! I hated this book. I thought it was about the newspaper industry, but it's really about boring corporate shenanigans in the office and a guy who thinks about sex all the time and gets cheated on and dumped by his wife. I would dump him too. He's boring!!!! This book is boring. Don't waste your time. I usually bail on books that don't capture my interest by the fourth or fifth chapter, but since this book had an endorsement from Paul Steiger, editor and and chief of I read it ...more
Lydia Laceby
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Originally Reviewed at Novel Escapes

Russell Wiley is Out to Lunch is full of office politics, procrastination, passing the buck, workplace monotony, and keeping the status quo, and didn't just revolve around his office, but Russell's life at home where his wife is growing more distant. This novel was easy to read, frequently funny and I really enjoyed everything from Russell's character to the story.

Hine's character creation from a few simple scenes was fantastic. The empathy I felt for Russell
Jul 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Russell Wiley is a media executive for the Daily Chronicle newspaper, the fourth largest newspaper in a world where there is only room for three. The newspaper is quickly going the way of paper money, and Russell is having problems getting new advertisers interested in placing ads. Meanwhile, his home life is going the same way as the newspaper. His wife, Sam, isn't interested in having sex with him and he obsessively counts the days between their infrequent carnal encounters. Add a whole lot of ...more
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Giorgos by: Richard
Thanks First Reads!

So, having finally read it - it's a fun read. Makes you laugh out loud at times, nod knowlingly at others, and shake your head in apprehension every now and then.

Even for someone with no involvement with the publishing industry, this book can be relevant - provided you've ever worked in an organisation, experienced an industry undergoing disruption, or had romantic feelings for another person. The office environment is brought to life by characters extreme enough to be memorab
Paige Lucken
Jun 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
A humorous window into the world of newspaper advertising, this novel is a mocking view of the not so simple life of a media executive. In part analogous to the humour of Tom Holt in books such as, ‘You Don't Have to be Evil to Work Here, But it Helps’ and part the agonising absurdities of Helen Fielding’s ‘Bridgett Jones’s Diary’. ‘Russell Wiley is Out to Lunch’ is an enjoyable read for anyone who has ever worked in an office and is weary of corporate clichés and maxims.

Russell Wiley’s world i
Robert Taylor
Aug 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Although most novelists hate comparisons, I can't resist the temptation to compare Richard Hine's character Russell Wiley to Joseph Heller's Bob Slocum (Something Happened). Both characters live their lives of quiet desperation, unable to find solace either at work or at home. I prefer Hine's pace, however, and "Russell Wiley is out to Lunch" moves us briskly through a tormented tale of corporate greed, politics, lust and incompetence that many of us can relate to and have experienced at one tim ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: comedy, first-reads
RWIOTL was extremely well written, however, I felt that at least 3-4 occasions, I thought to myself, well, what is exactly happening here. It dulled out particularly at the start.
At one point at the start I was going to give up. I'm glad I didnt because it got increasingly more humorous and Office-esque.
On one hand, I didnt really understand some bits. I felt that you needed to have worked in the newspaper industry to actually get some parts.
That said, it did give you some insight.
I was a little
Danie Cutter
Mar 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This book was received through First Reads, review will follow shortly.

It's been two years since I waved goodbye to the corporate world and with this book those years just vanished.

It's a true to life telling of both the lethargy and continual outmaneuvering that comes with the brave new business world. It tells with humour the re-presentation of old ideas under a new title or spin that has everyone jumping through hoops (yet again) on top of an already hectic schedule until new manageme
Kasa Cotugno
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Gianna Lorandi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richard Sharp
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Starts slowly as the story of a sadsack middle management publications exec with an unsatisfactory home life, but picks up as the book progresses. It winds up rather nicely as Russell Wiley, the lead protagonist shucks off his frustrations as an unappreciated talent who has lost his ability to give his full energy to the job and decides to take on the role of a "unicorn," adopting the image of a successful executive, delegating the detail work to his staff. He begins dealing with his peers and s ...more
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, fiction
Russell Wiley is Out to Lunch is simply a humorous look at a middle manager in a dying industry and a sexless marriage who is looking to reinvent himself. It is a clever, if not brilliant, book so long as one does not take it too seriously. I laughed out loud on several occasions with Hine's use of psuedo-business acronyms and jargon, such as "Unicorns" - as opposed to "horses." Other clichés such as "Let's not get too granular" made me wonder if this was my workplace. Truth is, this is pretty m ...more
Melissa Acuna
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved Russell Wiley the character and I love Russell Wiley the book. It's laugh out loud funny without being trite and there were a number of observations about the current corporate workplace that could have come from the Harvard Business Review, if it were only written by honest, smart employees rather than consultants, academics and MBA's.

Russell's workplace includes "Rainbow Painters whose job is to keep management's hopes alive, to convince them that the pot of gold exists. Legitimate fa
Apr 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Richard Hine has managed to capture office life with a skill and sharp wit that has only been matched by Matthew Weiner who penned the hit drama Mad Men.

Russell Wiley's journey through the perils of life on a newspaper as he juggles office politics, family life and the threat of impending redundancies is real, robust and very, very funny.

Hine's detailed and fast-paced writing style is on a par with Brett Easton Ellis (minus the blood and gore) and he captures the feel of working in such a doomed
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it
I was the lucky recipient of a Goodread’s giveaway and even luckier that the novel ‘Russell Wiley Is Out To Lunch’ proved to be a truly good read.
Everyone who has survived, succeeded or failed in a working environment such as the one described by Richard Hine will recognise the office politics, positioning and back-stabbing that are characteristic of a competitive organisation especially if the enterprise is on the brink of disaster.
It is common in perilous times to resort to drastic measures: o
Chera DeHoff
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I was immediately pulled into Russell Wiley’s so-so world, rooting for him to find some solitude somewhere. I admire the realistic truths contained within this story. And Richard Hine brings these truths to us by showing us that there is humor in the mundane day to day, there is humor in the desire to be something more. I can relate to Russell Wiley’s woes. His career is in jeopardy, his marriage is on the rocks … it makes for an unpleasant “one foot in front of the other”, “k ...more
Nov 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
If, like me, you can't get enough satirical novels about the workplace, you'll want to delve into this insightful, funny tale. While many of his colleagues at the PR firm are being 'downsized' around him, Russell, a mid-level manager, tries to find his equilibrium relative to career success, a failing marriage, and unrelenting lustful thoughts toward a certain co-worker. With the help of 'happy cat'; an anonymous employee in a neighboring building spied upon through his window; and various workp ...more
Maureen Reil
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in the Goodreads giveaways contest and I was looking forward to learning about a world that I knew very little about, that being one of a media executive. The story delivered on this and then some, as I found myself caught up from the start in Russell Wiley's life and seeing things through his very observant eyes and relishing in his dry-humored point of view. It was a very good satire on the daily working lives of the people in this corporation and how they each cope with their ...more
Jessie McDaniel
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Entertaining and quick read told from the point of view of the main character. Russell works at a barely-keeping-its-head-above-water newspaper in the advertising department. Every day at the office he struggles through procrastination, deals with ever-bitching members of his staff and wades through office politics. Waiting at home is his wife who always has some new item from work that she's spent her paycheck on and has a never ending list of excuses to avoid sex. Richard Hine has taken the si ...more
Sep 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Hine's a fine author with a well-tuned ear for dialogue, a gift for satire, and a way with eminently likable characters. They're so likable, in fact, that one gets the sense Hine doesn't want to see anything really bad happen to them; as a result, "Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch" is a funny, sweet, thoroughly readable novel, but not a particularly gripping book.

A few less punches pulled, and this might have been one for the ages; as it is, it points the way to bigger and better things for its ob
Aug 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I was very pleased to receive my copy of Russell Wiley is Out to Lunch.

It took some time to get to know the main character, at first he seemed to be a shallow and whiny person however as the story unfolded I felt I understood him more and actually wanted him to succeed!

This book has a dry sarcastic humour and is written in a short sharp style which flowed well. It gave an insight into the intricate links and need for communication within the newspaper business, voicing fears for the written wor
Feb 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, kindle-books
Anyone who has worked in a cubicle before will be able to relate to what goes on inside this company. There really wasn't anything that reached out and grabbed me, making me say "wow, this was a great book", but on the flip side, it was so interesting that I couldn't put it down until I had finished reading it. So while I wouldn't say it was an amazing book, I would say it is an entertaining read. ...more
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Horrible cover art aside, I really liked this book. Hine's behind-the-scenes knowledge of the journalism industry and office politics is evident but he keeps the details and the tone light. Russell Wiley is a wholly realistic character, a middle manager with a better understanding of the company and what it needs than his supervisors, but also obsessed with how long it's been since he and his wife had sex. Very readable and funny. ...more
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The media executive-turned-novelist takes a wry look at an imploding newspaper in Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch, a sharp corporate satire about the...
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