A raucous and surprising novel filled with wonderful details about wine, Rex Pickett's Sideways is also a thought-provoking and funny book about men, women, and human relationships.
The basis for the 2004 comedy-drama road movie of the same name starring Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church.
Sideways is the story of two friends-Miles and Jack-going away together for the last time to steep themselves in everything that makes it good to be young and single: pinot, putting, and prowling bars. In the week before Jack plans to marry, the pair heads out from Los Angeles to the Santa Ynez wine country. For Jack, the tasting tour is Seven Days to D-Day, his final stretch of freedom. For Miles--who has divorced his wife, is facing an uncertain career and has lost his passion for living-the trip is a week long opportunity to evaluate his past, his future and himself.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Two men search for answers at the bottom of a wineglass in this rowdy trip to California’s vineyard country. Soon-to-be-married director Jack is itching for one last fling. Recently divorced writer Miles just wants to bury his troubles in a few bottles of pinot noir. Both of the old friends long for excitement as they head for the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley, but they have no idea what they’re in for. Rex Pickett’s debut novel—the basis for the 2004 movie starring Paul Giamatti—is a hilarious modern road-trip story. Pickett’s colorful prose and quirky dialogue is full of sarcasm and handy wine-appreciation tips. With their unique charms and all-too-human flaws, Jack and Miles feel like real people. Funny, sad, and unexpectedly wise, Sideways is a rollicking, realistic comedy that hits close to home.
Two old friends set out for a weeklong romp through Santa Ynez, Calif., wine country that comically strains their friendship in Pickett's lively debut. Smart, hapless narrator Miles is divorced and broke, and his novel's been rejected all over town. His handsome, "ursine" best friend, Jack, a successful actor, is about to get married, and wants to enjoy a few last days of freedom. Pickett gleefully chronicles their many minor adventures, including the oversexed Jack's attempts at getting laid, a boar-hunting episode and a staged car accident. Add to that massive amounts of wine: oenophile Miles swills rather than sips, and Jack's always been a party guy. While Jack works his charm on the ladies, Miles has his own flirtation with a lovely waitress. Miles can be a delightful narrator, but he's no prince: he's a bore when it comes to wine, for example, and he can get a little pseudophilosophical ("photos mock the present by staring back at us with their immutable luster of our youthful past"). He also thinks nothing of snatching a couple thousand dollars from his alcoholic mother on her birthday. But redemption for all is promised and Pickett takes his readers on a jolly ride. His novel sounds like a perfect buddy flick, and indeed, it will have its chance: Alexander Payne (About Schmidt; Election) is directing it for Fox Searchlight.
Great book i think its better than the movie i am looking forward to reading Vertical.
The dialogue is so HACKY. Felt inauthentic and childish. I was incredibly disappointed as someone who LOVES the movie.