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Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch

Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch [Kindle Edition]

Richard Hine
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Richard Hine
Question: Why did you write this book?

Richard Hine: I wanted to write a novel that captured the insecurity and befuddlement of life in the media business in recent years. Having worked in media and advertising for 20-plus years, it’s a world I know extremely well. At the same time, I wanted to tell a story that would connect on a broader level with readers who can relate to the idiocies of the corporate world and the challenges of modern relationships. Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch is set at a business newspaper, but it deals with themes and personal issues to which many readers can relate.

Question: How true a picture is this of the realities of the media business?

Richard Hine: I’ve spent most of my working life at Adweek, Time magazine and the Wall Street Journal. So in terms of the pressures, passions and politics you see inside traditional media companies, it’s very true. In addition, the novel also gives readers a window into a certain--I think important--moment in the history of media. It’s the moment when old media companies really started losing both their hold on their audiences and control of their business future. Setting the novel in the present tense in the recent past also allows for a little humor in those areas where today’s reader knows more than the characters about how things turn out for brands like MySpace, Twitter and Facebook, as well as for the real-world newspaper and magazine brands that are mentioned, such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and USA Today.

Question: What are the book’s big themes and issues?

Richard Hine: One of the central questions the book asks is: "Is the internet changing my life for better or for worse?" In Russell Wiley’s work life at the Daily Business Chronicle, the internet and all the new competition it creates is causing havoc. As Russell says at one point: "The internet is killing us. But nobody has a plan to do anything about it." Meanwhile, the internet is also transforming the way most individuals interact and connect--or in some cases re-connect--with others. Early on in the book, Russell’s wife subscribes to, which gives her a direct line back to the people she knew at a much simpler, less tense time in her life.

Another question the book asks is: "If someone has fallen out of love with you, what hope do you have of winning that love back?" At work, Russell’s challenge is to make newspapers seem sexy again to advertisers who have become enamored with new online opportunities. At home, the challenge is to compete against his wife’s perhaps idealized memory of a former sweetheart.

Equally important, the book also asks: "When all hope seems lost, do you roll over and accept defeat or summon up your resources and give it one last shot?" We live in challenging times and many people work in troubled industries. That can either lead to frustration and helplessness or it can spark new forms of creativity and invention. And the internet comes into play there, too.

Question: To whom do you think this novel will appeal most?

Richard Hine: Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch is for anyone who appreciates the absurdities of corporate life and the challenges of modern relationships. I’m a big fan of Nick Hornby and also of the The Office. I’d be delighted if readers and viewers who enjoy such things would give my book a look.

Product Description

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 scheming boss, a hot-shot new consultant determined to see Russell ousted, and the beguiling colleague whose mere presence has a disconcerting effect on Russell’s starved libido. Disaster seems imminent…and that’s before he makes a careless mistake that could cost the paper millions. Russell realizes he must take drastic action if he is going to salvage his career, his love life, and what little remains of his self-respect. Sardonic, edgy, and true to life, this gripping novel offers an insider’s view into a newspaper's inner sanctum and the people who oil the wheels of the "old media" machine.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 405 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1935597140
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (12 Oct 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003JH8VG6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #171,314 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

London-born Richard Hine began his career as an advertising copywriter. After moving to New York at the age of twenty-four, he held creative and marketing positions at Adweek; Time magazine, where he became publisher of Time's Latin America edition; and the Wall Street Journal, where he was the marketing vice president responsible for the launch of the Journal's Weekend Edition. Since 2006, Hine has worked as a marketing and media consultant, ghostwriter, and novelist. His fiction has appeared in numerous literary publications, including London Magazine and the Brooklyn Review. He lives in New York City with the novelist Amanda Filipacchi.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True-to-life tales of insane office politics 9 Feb 2011
By Mr. Stuart Bruce TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
At first glance Richard Hine's debut novel "Russell Wiley Is Out To Lunch" does seem to promise anything new, that it could be another in an already fairly crowded range of Nick Hornby-style novels about middle-aged men and their mid-life crises. However it's worth checking out, because whilst that is in fact what the book is about, it's a very good example of the kind.

It's an American novel, set (and possibly written) in the pre-recession corporate America of 2006, as the marketing and sales departments of a newspaper struggle to keep themselves in profit while the rest of the world turns to the internet for everything. Central character Russell Wiley is a 37-year-old head-of-department who tries to remain the only single voice of sanity in a world where everything around him is crazy, a format that's handled very nicely as Russell is 'everyman' enough that you want good things to happen to him, but not so bland as to be unrealistic or unbelievable.

The characters surrounding Russell are the variety and comedy that keep the story very interesting. They range from almost normal, to incredibly irritating, and you can believe that every single one of them is a faithful representation of somebody that author Richard Hine has met in his life. If you read the "about the author" section at the back of the book, it becomes clear that in many ways, Russell Wiley IS Richard Hine himself, which explains a lot about how so many of the stories and characters ring absolutely true, no matter how ridiculous the events that are unfolding.

No matter what kind of office you work in, you'll find a lot to relate to in this, and you really will want to read on to the end. A very strong debut.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to life portrait of working in media 5 Mar 2011
I picked up this book whilst staying with a friend and found it addictive. It made me laugh out loud and really reminded me of working in media and reminded me why I left! If you're looking for a good light hearted book I recommend it. I will be looking forward to reading Mr Hine's next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you loved "E" by Matt Beaumont then... 5 April 2011
If you loved "E" by Matt Beaumont then you will also love "Russell Wiley Is Out To Lunch" - it is an easy and amusing read, especially for all the people working in media land. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Russell Wiley has got problems both at home and at work and is struggling to get a grip on the situation. At times it's difficult to feel sorry for a marketing executive like Russell, but you do begin to sympathise with him as he tries to stay on top of his work and his dealings with colleagues.

I found myself pleasantly surprised as the book turned out to be a real page-turner and at times I struggled to put it down. I don't know a great deal about the subject matter (newspaper publishing) but that didn't stop me from enjoying all the back-stabbing and office intrigue at the offices of the Daily Business Chronicle

I'm not going to spoil the ending for everyone, but I did find it a little predictable and cheesy in places. Having said that, it all hangs together well and is wrapped up nicely giving you a sense of satisfaction when you come to the end.

If you're after a well written, easy to read book that engages the reader and makes them want to continue reading then I'd recommend that you read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clothed lunch 10 April 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This debut novel, written by a London-born former advertising copywriter lifts the lid on the New York media sales industry during 2006. The blurb, stating that it's a must for fans of The Office (both UK and US editions I guess?) and anyone who's ever worked in a corporate environment - I'm guessing most of Amazon's readership fall into that category, so far so good. The author, Richard Hine pretty much bases the central character, everyman Russell Wiley on a partial version of himself, therefore he's a 37-year-old married man who's trying to hold down a position in an ever changing world which includes juxtaposing his work life with his strained home situation - married to Sam, no children, sexless marriage which is slowly going stale. A male mid-life crisis is something which has already been a feature of other novelists such as Nick Hornby and Mike Gayle to name but two.

I'm a fast reader and I admit it took me ages to finish this novel; not that it was bad, far from it - as it was densely plotted, well-written and on the whole, entertaining. Something, however made it a less than a compelling read - could it be that it was already dated? Maybe I'm no fan of complex office politics/Machiavellian plots - perhaps this was the case? I kept trying to skip through the minutiae of office life because I'm stuck with it during working hours as far as I'm concerned and I'm damned if I'm going to read about such things in my spare time.

I really feel as though Richard Hine has a great future as a novelist, he writes well and his observations are often laugh out loud funny. However, I'd love to see him write about a different subject and I think he'd really come into his own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'd be Mad (Men) not to buy this future classic 10 April 2011
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 profession perfectly.

Comparisons have been made to Rickey Gervais' classic Brit drama The Office which translated so well for American audiences.

Some here in the UK say our Stateside cousins don't quite do comedy sarcasm as well as us Brits, but Hine has proved that's just not the case at all.

Russell Wiley's Out to Lunch is a must read for anyone who has to don a shirt and tie for the daily grind of working in an office.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Super witty- a must-read
Published 1 month ago by mich
3.0 out of 5 stars Good start but needed a good editor
Some very good ideas and insights which made me think at the start that I was going to read a classic, but like Hollywood movies that just stick anything on the end this novel... Read more
Published 2 months ago by balbs
5.0 out of 5 stars A new author for me.
I really enjoyed this book, it got my attention right at the start, and carried on all the way through. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dee C
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable.
Held my interest throughout. A good portrayal of office politics. Will look out for more by this author. Read more
Published 8 months ago by MarianH
4.0 out of 5 stars witty fast moving
Funny funny book, great story, properly realistic view of work life, completely believable characters, fast moving story sweeps you along. Well worth a look
Published 8 months ago by jfitzg
4.0 out of 5 stars Humerus read that's difficult to put down!
I wasn't sure about this book initially, however, I found it quite difficult to put down.

It's an easy read, with a variation of plots unfolding.... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ashleigh
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit slow to get going
enjoyed the read made a change from crime novels but not really my type of story but did give an insight to big company politics
Published 9 months ago by raymond
4.0 out of 5 stars Life in a newspaper publishing company
One could not help empathising with the (most of the time) hapless narrator with his wry account of his personal and business life during a period in which he encountered... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Francesca
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Quick Read
I got this for 99p as part of 12 days of Kindle sale. For that price it's pretty good. It's an easy read and fairly quick. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BEFORE WORD GETS OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Finished 'Russell Wiley is Out to Lunch' in almost one sitting!
Throughout I smiled, grinned and laughed.
When things got bad for 'Russell' I fizzed tension. Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2012 by walshie
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