The Branch Office by Rook Winters

312 pages

Self-published on January 15, 2018

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There’s a story in every cubicle.

A novel that is part tribute and part lampoon of office life. You’ll nosedive into absurd behavior, quirky personalities, Silicon Valley excess, 80s nostalgia, personal loss, frustration, unrequited infatuation, company softball, and, of course, doughnuts.

Luke is young and stuck at the bottom of the career ladder but he doesn’t intend to stay there. The grizzled programmer in the next cubicle has been working on the same software for decades and just wants to stay off the radar of the executives.

Unfortunately, the corporate agenda is at odds with their hopes and dreams.

Introducing Working Class Hero: The Novel.

I love a good underdog story, and The Branch Office is a heartwarming tale of everyday heroics in a setting that wouldn’t seem to lend itself to intrigue and revolutions. Rook Winters hides mystery and cutthroat office politics among these cubicles – picture The Office, but with a Michael Scott who’s actually competent. The corporate tension is supplemented by some lovable and genuinely relatable main characters, and I enjoyed seeing them develop throughout the story.

I do have one complaint, though – this book took a good little while to get going. The central conflict didn’t really come in until about halfway through the book, which means the first part of the story was essentially a slice-of-life with a couple of subplots thrown in. Still enjoyable, but not as strong as it could’ve been, in my opinion.

I never thought I’d peg an office drama as a fun bit of escapism, but hey – there’s a first time for everything. 🙂 I loved The Branch Office, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who loves to root for the little guy.