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Publisher's Summary

The follow-up novel to the blockbuster Sideways, the basis of a major motion picture, tracks the continuing story of Miles Raymond and his buddy Jack.

It’s seven years later. Miles has written a novel that has been made into a wildly successful movie, and the movie has changed his life. Jack, contrarily, is divorced, has a kid, and is on the skids. Phyllis, Miles’ mom, has suffered a stroke that’s left her wheelchair-bound and wasting away in assisted living. She desperately wants to live with her sister in Wisconsin. When Miles gets invited to be master of ceremonies at the International Pinot Festival in Oregon, he hatches a harebrained road trip. With Jack as his copilot, he leases a handicapped-equipped van, hires a pot-smoking Filipina caretaker, and, with his mother’s rascally Yorkie in tow, they take off for Wisconsin via Oregon’s fabled Willamette Valley.

This is a road novel for the smart set and wine lovers, and it is anything but predictable.

©2010 Loose Gravel Press (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Better, richer than Sideways." (Kirk Honeycutt,  Hollywood Reporter)
"Rex Pickett shows that his gift for creating wildly funny scenes is quite intact.…The book is laugh-out-loud funny." ( New York Journal of Books)
"Had me alternately laughing and crying through this hilarious, heartbreaking, and ultimately moving meditation on fame, friendship, and family.  Vertical managed to break my heart and then put it back together again, piece by piece…and should abolish any lingering doubts whether the author just got ‘lucky’ with  Sideways. This is a work to be both admired and savored like the great Willamette Valley Pinots Miles exults over." ( Forth magazine)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    53
  • 4 Stars
    36
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    16
  • 2 Stars
    11
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    5

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    72
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    23
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    10
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    4
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    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    16
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing intenionally depressing

Would you be willing to try another one of Scott Brick’s performances?

Pretty good considering lackluster material.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Jack and Miles excessive bacchannal.

Any additional comments?

Too many three and four syllable words. Could have saved time by euthanizing his mother in the first third of the book. Basically this is an author that was embarrassed by the success of Sideways and the movie, feels he doesn't deserve the success and writes a book that ensures he will never have to write about these characters again. Pickett writes a personal novel never failing to point out what an immature, emotional, alcoholic wreck he has made of his life. He used the characters of Jack and Miles and a sequel to a popular book to bait and switch readers. I feel like a fool finishing the book. No wonder Knopf rejected the book and he had to self publish.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Drunken vomit of a story

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Wanted to like it but just don't know. It was wordy and polysyllabic, for the sake of being wordy and polysyllabic. Perhaps someone who likes wordy and polysyllabic stories that become pointless....

What could Rex Pickett have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The basic story has a good premise, taking mom to live with her sister in a final road trip with a wine conference and sibling visit thrown in..... Same characters, but adding mom and the caregiver and adding all the similar Sideways hijinks just became tawdry and tedious. Drunken hook-ups and sex, drunken hook-ups and sex, drunken hook-ups and sex.......and on and on......

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

Snapper, the poor dog, he had the most odious owners......

What character would you cut from Vertical?

Half of the wine sluts could have been cut without notice.....

Any additional comments?

The scenery was accurately described (perhaps for the next movie?) but the sameness of the situations on this trip with the sexual escapades over and over again became mind numbing and you would write the scene before hearing it over and over.........

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • marvin
  • tucker, GA, United States
  • 07-12-13

Too much unrefined sex

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No, like every other sentence had talk of miles ejaculating it seemed like.

What do you think your next listen will be?

?

Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

In this book no favorite. Brick is good, but miles seems like a completely different person from the miles in "sideways". As does jack. But miles is particularly unlikeable. He's sex obsessed. Treats everyone badly. And especially says mean things to his mom.
Just wayyyyyy to much sex going on with super hot young chicks and miles. Seems like the author is living vicariously thru miles. And it's told in a way that comes off as creepy. Not sensual.
Or maybe I'm missing somethjg?

Do you think Vertical needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I didn't think sideways did. But I welcomed a new novel with miles and jack. Ultimately I didn't like the direction the characters lives had taken.

Any additional comments?

A dissapointment. Seems a contrived plot to facilitate another road trip.
The characters aren't consistent with sideways and too much sex not portrayed very sexily.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exquisite

I have been a fan of the first book and film for years and was always afraid to read the sequel. I feared that if it was not as good, my memory of the first would forever be tainted. I finally fought through my fears and am so pleased I did. What a wonderful story. So full of ups and downs, laughs and tears. Heart warming at its very core. Phenomenal book.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Chad
  • GREAT FALLS, VA, United States
  • 01-05-16

Now I know why it's titled, "Vertical..."

Similar aspects to Sideways, but this story takes on a life of its own down the line. Really respect the author's courage to go there.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A love story...

A love story of wine and the relationship between son and mother told in the narrators self-deprecating comedic tone. What starts as a madcap drunken adventure through wine country, ends in a touching heart ache of a son coming to know and let go of his dying mother. Bravo!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

For Sideways Lovers

I don't think you necessarily need to have seen the movie Sideways or read the book to easily get into this novel. Miles is about as flawed a hero as possible in this novel. There is plenty of madcap adventures and redemptive moments. Pickett does a great job of bringing the auxiliary characters to life. Scott Brick is probably my new favorite narrator, he really brings Miles and the other characters to life.

Not everyone will love this book, a lot of people are going to be put off by all the excessive drinking and the promiscuous sex. Not to mention there are several places in the book where Miles is downright unlikable and it is hard to have sympathy for him. He is not the best of heroes but in the end he does become heroic. For me if you enjoyed the movie Sideways then you definitely need to get this book.


1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Madison, WI, United States
  • 08-27-17

A Worthy Sequel

Funny, then poignant. Expertly narrated. A celebration of indulgence and an exploration of human imperfection.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good but at times boring

First Brick was good at narrating. He reminded me of Giamatti.

Now the storyline I was mixed. The mom stuff made this sequel into a drama. The ending was good.

If they do make a movie omit mom stuff and he n jack do a wine road trip through Oregon after her funeral.

As a female I relate to Miles and Im abt to start Sideways Chile

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

worth a read

I liked Sideways, so liked the sequel, even though there were stretches where the main character is obnoxious. Got it on sale, might not have liked it as much at full price.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful