Book - 2004
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A rollicking road novel that is the basis of award-winning director Alexander Payne's new movie of the same name. Sideways describes the journey of two men, Miles and Jack, as they leave Las Vegas en route for Jack's impending nuptials in Santa Ynez. For Jack, the weekend is his final days of freedom, for Miles the trip becomes an opportunity to evaluate his life. A raucous road trip complete with wine and beautiful women, Sideways is a thought-provoking and often humorous novel about men, friendships and human relationships. Film out now.
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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