Overwhelmed by work? So is Russell Wiley. In his new novel, Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch, former VP of the Wall Street Journal, Richard Hine explores the media transition from the old to the new amidst a pitiful economy, with layoffs creating a heavy workload for those who manage to weather the storm and keep their jobs.
Russell Wiley, a marketing executive for a business newspaper, The Daily Business Chronicle that is owned by publishing conglomerate, the Ghosh Corporation, is annoyed and disgruntled. The ineffective strategies his company is trying to implement in an effort to adapt to the new publishing landscape is causing more harm than good, and business is failing fast. One such thwarted effort, is the decision to hire a “consultant” who tries to revamp an old business plan; a business plan that Russell worked on when he first started at the Ghosh Corporation. Fed up with it all, Russell begins publishing articles under a pseudonym, outlining all the reasons traditional media is falling behind.
To make matters worse, Russell is in a loveless (and sexless) marriage, in which his wife Sam, spends her days wasting his hard-earned money on unnecessary things, like furniture from the antique store that she occasionally works at. Throw in an attractive female colleague that Russell can’t stop thinking about and you have a recipe for divorce court.
Under-appreciated at home, and miserable at work, Russell figures out a way to turn things around, by delegating all of his office responsibilities to his employees. However, he can’t seem to fix things at home, until Sam’s ex-boyfriend comes to stay with them on a trip to the city. After a night of flirting with her ex, Sam can’t get enough of Russell, and holds nothing back once they retire to their bedroom for the evening.
Russel’s work life and home life are both headed for disaster, and the result is surprising to say the least. Russell Wiley is Out to Lunch makes for a perfect addition to the ever increasing “recession genre,” enlightening readers as to how a major company works through an evolving industry, and tries to stay afloat during tough economic times.
With so much media attention focused on the death of traditional news outlets, Hine really captures the failures and shortcomings of a big business, highlighting the fact that no one really knows what to do so some have given up, and perhaps that’s the reason why new media seems to be taking over.
A tale of workplace woes, Russell Wiley Is Out to Lunch offers a sarcastic portrayal of office relationships, from that pesky co-worker who buts into everyone’s business, to the one who gets all the praise, despite the fact that they never to do any work. An entertaining read from start to finish for anyone who has experienced a job from hell.
Richard Hine, will be at KGB Bar (85 E. 4th Street, New York, NY, 10003 Google Maps) in New York City this Sunday night, participating in the Sunday Night Fiction Series. The event is from 7-9pm, so if you’re in the city, stop by for a drink and some interesting discussions.
And don’t forget to check out Richard Hine’s website. It is brilliantly done with great content to look like a newspaper. Happy reading!