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In Office Hours Paperback – 6 May 2010

36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Fig Tree (6 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905490399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905490394
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 531,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Whip-smart and blisteringly observant. Funny, truthful and cracking satire (The Sunday Times )

Captures perfectly the addictive highs and catastrophic lows of an obsessive, clandestine affair. Funny, moving, don't miss (Grazia )

I didn't want to put it down (Financial Times )

Kellaway is very funny and acutely observant about workplace politics - the office here is a hotbed of passion and betrayal (The Times )

A fast-moving novel about office affairs. The unusual feature of Kellaway's writing is the witty way in which she challenges established mores (Daily Telegraph )

About the Author

Lucy Kellaway is the Financial Times' management columnist. She lives in London and is married with four children. Her first novel, Who Moved My Blackberry? was published by Penguin in 2005.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Penelope Simpson on 19 April 2011
Format: Paperback
This monstrously boring and totally repetitive book can't possibly have been written by the real Lucy Kellaway who is witty and engaging. Please come back soon and we'll forgive you for this aberration.

For the curious here is the plot. Two silly women, one senior, one junior, both have affairs at the office. They don't go anywhere, but spend their lives in hotel rooms drinking champagne. Then they undergo some soul searching, have a fallout, then make-up and then they do some more bonking. Repeat through several chapters and then end predictably. Do not indulge in any characterisation or understanding of why the characters act as they do and under no circumstances make the characters appealling.

The End.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Suzie on 15 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Two women, two office affairs, and the accompanying euphoria, deceit, lies and heartbreak - end of story. Except that this book is so much more. It's about women's place in modern society, about love, passion, and self-destruction; and it reflects the harsh truth that a woman's job probably suffers more than a man's when an affair is exposed.

The two stories are told in alternating, punchy, chapters, some lasting only a couple of pages, others somewhat longer. It's fast moving, up-to-date and life-like. People communicate by e-mail and text and listen to music on i-Pods. Stella is approaching the zenith of her career. Straightforward and honest, she is a high-flyer in an oil multinational based in London, married, and a mother of two, the ultimate multi-tasker skilfully juggling her disparate roles. Bella is young, pretty, intelligent, and a PA in the same company. As a single mother, she struggles to bring up her daughter Millie with no help from the child's father.

For a while I found the short bursts rather disjointed, shallow, even, and began to wonder if the book was going to be the sort of grown-up chick-lit that's not to my taste, but I needn't have worried. It's detailed, thoroughly absorbing, well-written, soul-searching, and a brilliant analysis of two very different affairs that begin and progress in two very different ways, and of the sometimes devastating consequences.

Of the two women, Stella is the better developed character, someone you feel you might have met and can empathise with. Bella is less likeable (in my view, at least) and as a result I had less sympathy for her. She seemed to me the sort of predatory woman that many forty and fifty-something wives dread, although I'm sure wouldn't agree - and nor might other readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 May 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bella and Stella both work for Atlantic Energy. Bella is a single mother bringing up her daughter and Stella is married to Charles and has two children. Bella is a PA when the story opens and Stella is an economist heading her own department in the same company and clearly destined for greater things. Both have affairs with colleagues. The story is written alternately from the points of view of both women.

How the affairs start and develop will be familiar to anyone who has worked in an office, whether or not they've had an affair with a colleague; the manufactured errands which take you past the door to someone's office, the sneaking off to meet for lunch, the secret rendezvous in various parts of the building such as the boardroom or the roof. Everyone thinks they are being incredibly discreet and everyone else is watching to see what happens next and knows perfectly well what is going on.

Office life is brilliantly depicted and I felt sympathy with both Bella and Stella in their valiant attempts to sort out their lives even while they were heading for personal disaster. The other characters in the drama are only sketched in but this does not matter as the story concentrates on the two women and their thoughts and feelings. The book is well written and convincing and I enjoyed reading it. Some people may be put off by the quotations form e-mails and text messages but I felt these helped to give the flavour of modern life. I recommend it to anyone who has ever worked in an office - big or small.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 20 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Lucy Kellaway's In Office Hours is brilliant. She captures the minutiae of office life, the arrogance, anxiety, vanity, vulnerability and utter disregard for common sense of all her protagonists with ruthlessness and humour. The author claims the book is the product of meticulous, indirect, research but her sources appear to have been breathtakingly and humiliatingly honest. the book will be a great hit but if not Lucy Kellaway has a second vocation as a confessor
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Gurney on 2 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book but it failed to deliver. I found it difficult to care about the characters - and the fact that they are called Bella and Stella drove me mad, surely the author has more imagination than that?? The characters were one-dimensional and the depth of their feelings felt ridiculous so early on in the throes of the affairs. The outcomes were inevitable and obvious. I think the book is skillfully written but failed to grab me by the heart and in fact, I found myself bored by the story. Give me Marian Keyes any day.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Armour on 19 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Falls very short of her other books.

Although she gets some of the pettiness and weirdness of human life, she falls into assumption traps.

Like CEOs are brilliant, and graduates are savvy and smart.

Not at all real world.

I found the helplessness of moth to a flame attitude to crummy relationships a bit nauseating.

The dialogues often came over as unreal, especially from Rhys.

I did read to the end, but with itchiness to just leave it.
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