Book - 2004
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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 tripis a weeklong 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.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2004
ISBN: 9780312342517
Characteristics: 351 p


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Mar 15, 2009

There are no new insights here into male-female relationships. That's OK, though - this could still have been just be a fun buddy story. However, the two male protagonists aren't likeable enough, and they're not even strongly drawn enough to be thoroughly unlikeable - which might have been more interesting, in a perverse way. They are just walking cliches in the hands of an inept, indifferent puppetmaster. The only spark of life in this book is that some of the cliches do actually rise to the level of being actively offensive.

The author seems much more intent on getting that screenplay deal than on actually crafting a decent book, as the dialogue has that "you can film me straight from the page" rhythm to it. (At least the movie version redeemed this pedestrian book.) I just wanted the Miles and Jack of the book to guzzle their pinot noir (Miles is a wine afficionado ...?) and leave, please.

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