Friday, October 15, 2010

Review: "Russell Wiley Is Out To Lunch: A Novel" by Richard Hine

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 office drama into the mix, as well as a consultant who is more interested in passing others' work off as his own, and Russell Wiley has a recipe for disaster.

When Russell makes a multi-million dollar mistake at the office, he knows that it's just a matter of time before his ship sinks. He realizes that he needs to make some big changes if he is to salvage the remains of his career and his love life. Filled with witty observations and wry humour, Russell Wiley is Out To Lunch is a must-read for anyone who has ever wiled away hours in an office.

Russell Wiley is Out To Lunch is a delightful read, chronicling the decline of the newspaper industry with wit and charm. It was fun to reflect on things that used to play so prominently in our lives that have been replace by the bigger and better in the interest of progress. Newspapers used to be a fixture in our lives, delivered in the mornings and read over breakfast, and now we seem to get the majority of our news online and on our electronic devices. This book also offers commentary on office life- the drama that can surround us, not to mention the joys of working with people who are determined to pass others' work off as their own.

Russell Wiley was a thoroughly likable character. His marriage is rapidly going down the tubes, his work life is teetering on the brink of disaster, and yet he manages to conduct himself with dignity. When he develops a crush on his co-worker he doesn't cross the line into inappropriate behaviour and that endeared him to me even further.

Russell Wiley is Out To Lunch is a must-read for anyone who has ever worked in an office, had someone pass off your work as their own, or been discouraged by their company's inability to move forward into new technology. It is also a great read for anyone who is just looking for a laugh.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Fiction fans, especially those who enjoy a book set in an office
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010

I received a copy of this book for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. I wish I could find the great books that you review. How soon will it be out?

  2. Paulita,

    "Russell Wiley Is Out To Lunch" was just released on October 12, 2010. It is published by Amazon Encore, and is available to Canadians here. It is also available on I hope that you get a chance to read this great book!

  3. I had never heard of this book but it sounds pretty good.

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