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Publisher's Summary

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.

A raucous and surprising novel filled with wonderful details about wine, Sideways is also a thought-provoking and funny book about men, women, and human relationships.

©2004 Rex Pickett; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Pickett takes his readers on a jolly ride." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall

A brilliant comic novel about midlife crises

This is a brilliant comic novel about two sadsacks who take off to the Santa Barbara County wine country. One is a failed novelist who has replaced his remorse over his divorce to his soulmate with a romance with wine. His best friend is a semi-successful TV director in Hollywood. The book is hilarious, but there's a depth of sadness that this is going to be the last time they get together in this way. The equally brilliant movie changed some things, and not always for the best -- Sandra Oh's character changes tipped it a little more toward ugliness -- but the book cuts deeper than its comedy; it's a soul-searching tragedy of lives lost in the balance. Reviewers who complain about profanity shouldn't be allowed to review this; it just isn't objective reviewing. This book, aside from being the definitive novel -- I didn't say nonfiction -- written about wine is going to go down as a classic comic story, one that will last for years to come. I saw the film several times and it cut deeper every time. But I think the book stands up to the movie and may even be better in some way because it interiorizes the main character of Miles in a way that the movie can't. There's something deeply archetypal about Jack and Miles; we both know guys like this. The women may border on fantasy at times, but they're just as flawed and just as lonely and aliented in their own lives and it's not hard to buy why they would all want to have a good time. For people who think "real" characters like this don't exist, they're living in some faith-based bubble where they want their art to represent some ludicrous fantasy of goodness. Well, it ain't like that out there, folks. This is a tremendous book from a truly gifted author.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

if you liked the movie, you will like the book

If you liked the movie, I think you will like the book, even though the book is very different in some respects. I loved the movie and I am tempted to give the book five stars. but the book does have flaws/lapses. There's a lot more drunkeness. Some incidents are not credible and are distracting. There is lots more on specific wines, which is great. I completely disagree that the book is poorly written. There are parts that are extremely well-written. Very memorable. You may want to keep a dictionary handy. The first person voice is very much that of writer. A well read one, with a large and expressive vocabulary. Among other things, it is interesting to see where the moviemakers altered and streamlined the novel. The novel "explains" parts of the movie, for instance, some of the motivations of characters that were unclear. But the characters also clearly evolved into different people in the transition from book to movie. The relationship between Jack's wife to be and Miles' former wife is much more developed in the book. Probably unnecessarily. The character of Jack's wife to be is much more three dimensional and explains Jack's character quite a bit, in a way that makes sense. Those that complain about the crudeness, I bet did not like the move either. Sorry, but I am afraid that many men talk and act this way. It rang more or less true to me, although the characters are exaggerated for effect. The conflicts in Miles character are better explained in the book. For instance, his stealing from his Mother. To me the character makes sense. He has great inner conflict and is a good person and a bad person at the same time, as is Jack. This is the way people really are and the book and the movie explore this well. To me there are several big lapses as to Maya in the book--inconsistencies with character. She is still compelling. Virginia Madsen truly deserves kudos. In general, I appreciated the movie even more after reading the book.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Rhonda
  • BLOOMFIELD, CT, United States
  • 05-18-17

Nothing like the movie

Nothing like the movie, but still a good book. I would definitely recommend it as a light read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

Second time listening to this book and it is once again fantastic. As of anything the second time through I found new things I liked about the story. I am looking forward to "Vertical"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Love, Love this story!!!


I saw the movie first but this book was very good. Rex Pickett is so good at writing about transitions in life. This book makes you relatable to Miles (provided ur going through a MLC). I love this story because its raw not sugar coated with “think positive.” Lets be honest, at some point in our lives we have a down point and had to find a way out. That was Miles. Great story and I jotted down every winery and Im off to try them!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of my favorite books

Both the performance and story were spot-on. While the flaws of both characters can at times lead to head-scratching situations, it's those very flaws that make this book great. The characters are pieces of humanity, perhaps amplified, but humanity nonetheless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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as good as the movie

Liked the movie, liked the book. Don't usually like Scott Brick, but he did fine in this one, none of those long pauses, no need to speed up the narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Frank
  • Norfolk, VA, United States
  • 12-13-12

One of the best I have listened to

Where does Sideways rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This was one of the most enjoyable books I have ever listened to. I enjoyed the wine setting in the book but the humor and interaction was great. If looking for an escape from the world of pain and horror then this book won't disapoint. Scott Bick is the best

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stev
  • reno, NV, USA
  • 06-29-05

Outstanding

A great funny story about two real guys and some great wines. I saw the movie AFTER reading the book and highly recommend that if you haven't yet seen it, avoid the movie. The book has depth and hope and salvation plus a great boar hunt. Not offensive to women as some suggest but realistic and unapologetic aobut both men a women. Oh, and the wine, the sweet, sweet wine.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann
  • PORTLAND, OR, United States
  • 06-26-13

Not worth my time.

I read the whole gosh-aweful thing. Kept hoping that just one more chapter might redeem at least one of the protagonists. Not. Shallow remained shallow.

Not even Scott Brick could entice me to waste time on another work by this author.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful