The author of SOMETHING MISSING returns with another hilarious and sneakily profound tale about a man whose behavior is truly odd, but also oddly relatable.
Milo Slade, a thirty-three year old home healthcare aide, is witnessing the rapid dissolution of his three-year marriage to a polished, high-powered attorney named Christine. Though Milo doesn't quite know the root of his marital problems, he inevitably blames himself, or more specifically, he faults the demands his obsessive compulsive personality place upon him--the need to open a jar of Smuckers grape jelly or sing 99 Luftballons in front of an audience, to name just a couple.
Yet Christine is still none the wiser about these inexplicable quirks as Milo has painstakingly hidden them from her and everyone else for years. No one knows the true--and in his mind more insidious--Milo, and such is the root of his profound loneliness, especially now that he and Christine are living apart during a trial separation.
Then one day Milo stumbles across a video camera and tapes, left behind in a park. He watches the first tape, which is a heartfelt confessional by a young woman who begins to reveal her secrets, starting small at first, and finally revealing that she blames herself for a tragic death of a friend. But not all the details add up and Milo is struck with the urge to free the sweet confessor from her guilt. He is, after all, an expert in keeping secrets…
In typical screwball fashion, Milo sets out on a cross-country journey to crack the case, but quickly gets sidetracked as his un-ignorable demands call. But it is during these sidetracks that the true meaning of his adventure takes shape. Milo is weird, but as he discovers, so is everyone else. UNEXPECTEDLY, MILO is a humorous and touching novel about finding oneself, embracing the journey, and, unexpectedly, love.
Dicks offers another neurotic romp (after Something Missing), this one about a Connecticut home nurse and closet OCD sufferer who, recently separated from his uptight wife, satisfies the demands of his disorder by, among other things, flipping open jars of grape jelly and singing German pop music. Among Milo Slade's geriatric patients are a man dependent on Viagra for his addiction to Internet pornography and a woman who makes Milo rake her shag carpeting. Milo, meanwhile, stumbles onto a cache of videotapes that form a mysterious woman's video diary. In it, she confesses her secrets and talks about the guilt she carries around about a childhood friend named Tess who disappeared and is, the woman believes, dead. The story prompts Milo to take a road trip to North Carolina to find Tess, and though it upsets his routine, he is finally forced to share the demands of his disorder with someone else, which changes his rather grave perspective on life. Despite exhaustive commentary after every demand takes hold, Milo proves to be a pretty charming character, even if a lot of the intended humor gets buried beneath his suffering.