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In Office Hours [Paperback]

Lucy Kellaway
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 May 2010

A masterclass in office love...

Stella Bradberry and Bella Chambers work for Atlantic Energy, a global oil company in London. Bella is a pretty single mother who dropped out of college and is doomed to work as an invisible assistant to a series of men of half her intelligence. Stella is twenty years older, about to get a seat on the board, and is the original no-glass-ceiling, high-achieving, multi-tasking mother of two. Everyone admires her; she's so straightforward and sensible. So what possesses both women to embark on pole-axing, heart-wrenching affairs with men they wouldn't have looked twice at outside the office?

Smart, funny, moving and agonizing, In Office Hours holds up a mirror to modern corporate life. It's all here - the lies and sabotage, the strutting lunacy of CEOs, men's choice of sandwiches, women's choice of affair underwear, taking credit for others' ideas, the building and crashing of egos. And the obsessive, dangerous conduct of work colleagues who, in the grip of passion, break all the rules.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Fig Tree (6 May 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1905490399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905490394
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 424,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not even a great trashy read 18 Jun 2010
This book has lost me after two chapters. The characters are dull, the setting is dull and the story is dull/predictable.

I love a chicklet but this is not a patch on lucy's last book, which i adored! I bought this following a review in vogue and must say they should stick to fashion instead of book reviews.

If you're getting this because nothing else is availiable then great but otherwise buy lucy's first book - its really really great.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful book, with fabulous characters 30 April 2010
I was gripped by this novel from the first chapter. The characters are so recognisable, and Stella has stayed in my mind as if she was a real person. As she becomes ever more deeply drawn into an office affair, you find yourself sharing her ups and downs, and empathising so much with someone in the grip of an obsession. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever had an office affair, or felt themselves dangerously close to being drawn into one. Lucy Kellaway's writing is, as usual, a delight - infused with wit and warmth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars hilarious and close to the knuckle 20 Jun 2010
By Kindle Customer VINE VOICE
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Her Best 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty boring 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well I enjoyed it anyway 10 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read the other reviews, I think this must be a love it or hate it book. I loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book I've read in ages 30 Aug 2011
I haven't read Ms. Kellaway's other writing (yet) but for me, this was the best book I've read in ages, and I read a lot. There's something very touching about Stella and Rhys. Because the book flows so well it's easy to overlook the sharp observations and the playful interweaving of people's lives.. and before you know it the book is finished... damn!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Will the real Lucy Kellaway please come back 19 April 2011
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars BAD
I read In Office Hours some weeks ago, I started reading it in November 2013 and I finished it on the 9th of April 2014. Yes it was that bad. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stella
4.0 out of 5 stars A well-written great novel
I'd read a lot of Lucy Kellaway's columns and was a big fan of her Martin Lukes's column. I was keen to read this book. The book follows several women and their office affairs. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Stepas
3.0 out of 5 stars ok but no martin lukes
A bit predictable but the characters are somehow also not credible. Joanna trollope-esque - a thin plot line padded out with a lot of over-the-top emoting.
Published 6 months ago by acb
1.0 out of 5 stars Just awful
Makes a mockery of office life. There is so many more things that could have made this a funny and interesting read, but it relied on the cliche stereotypes. So disappointing.
Published 9 months ago by Anna Gibbs
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
I could not put this book down. i just was engaged reading it. I would like to buy more of lucy's books. I recommend reading this book.
Published 17 months ago by ireadnovels
2.0 out of 5 stars Not funny at all
This is another book I bought on the strength of 'Who moved my Blackberry' - a very enjoyable and funny read by the same author. Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2012 by Mira B
3.0 out of 5 stars Love is in the office...
If you enjoy hearing all the juicy gossips about office affairs, you'd love this book - simple as that. And I hate to say, I enjoyed this book much more than I'd want to admit. Read more
Published on 25 Oct 2011 by O. Cheng
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read with a smart engagement with women and work
Despite the prominent bad reviews here, I liked this book. It isn't as irritating as standard chick-lit and re-works some tired scenarios - especially by turning one of the affairs... Read more
Published on 5 Sep 2011 by Roman Clodia
5.0 out of 5 stars Uh-oh, Loves Comes to Town
I saw IN OFFICE HOURS being heavily advertised on the Tube during a recent trip to London and, being the author of an office-based, relationship-focused novel myself, felt... Read more
Published on 23 May 2011 by Richard Hine
4.0 out of 5 stars Review for In Office Hours
I enjoyed this book as a kind of 'holiday' read. I didn't find it as funny as her previous book 'Who Moved My Blackberry' but it is great to read a book which takes place in a... Read more
Published on 24 Mar 2011 by J. Burnell
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