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Vertical: the follow-up to Sideways
     

Vertical: the follow-up to Sideways

4.3 13
by Rex Pickett
 

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The follow-up novel to the blockbuster Sideways 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's mom, has suffered a stroke that's left

Overview

The follow-up novel to the blockbuster Sideways 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's 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 a Pinot Noir festival in Oregon, he hatches a harebrained road trip. With Jack as his co-pilot, he leases a handicapped-equipped rampvan, 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, where Miles is Master of ceremonies of the International Pinot Festival. It is a road novel for the smart set and wine lover, and anything but predictable.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780983143406
Publisher:
Loose Gravel Press
Publication date:
09/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
429
Sales rank:
611,404
File size:
784 KB

Meet the Author

Rex Pickett is a Santa Monica based writer and screenwriter who has been behind two Oscar winning scripts. His novel Sideways was made into a film which swept the 2005 Golden globes and won the 2005 Oscar for Best Screenplay. He is an accomplished golfer and a summa cum laude from the University of California in San Diego and attended the University of Southern California graduate film school.

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Vertical 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Novellover56 More than 1 year ago
The author of the quintessential wine novel/movie "Sideways" takes the reader on an unexpected journey from Southern California to Oregon and beyond in this "follow-up" to the original. Times have change for Miles and Jack. It's seven years later, as the product description reads, and Miles has become a success and Jack, essentially, a failure. Nothing is sure in their world anymore. In the interim Miles's mother has had a stroke, but now wants to be with her sister in Wisconsin instead of wasting away in an assisted-living facility. Thus begins a road novel (a movie?) that is quite unlike anything I was expecting. Sure, there's wine -- and plenty of it -- but Miles seems to be having more problems dealing with success than he did with failure. But the real surprise is Pickett moving the focus away from Miles and Jack to Miles and his mother, and the result is emotionally riveting and, ultimately, devastating. I have to admit, I wept openly at the end of this very, very fine novel. Kudos to Pickett for not repeating himself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you read Sideways (and you should), you'll appreciate Vertical. I thought I was going to get drunk just reading it. But turning page after page, like the neat rows of a vineyard, I discovered a sobering story of son and mom embracing sobriety and the painful experience of service, death, and newfound hope. It is a story of exaltation, extremes, and renewed expectations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great sequel novel to Sideways! I devoured all 400 pages and enjoyed the nuances that Rex bought to the characters. I do see this as a movie, it will be hilarious and very poignant. As Miles would say "nicely done".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hadn't known there was a sequel so this alone was interesting, and having toured through the Oregon wine regions over the past seven years, I found his observations, suggestions and other wine info interesting. BUT....the story itself though at times engaging becomes tedious, more like high school boys drunken banterings than the soul searching of mature men needing to do their lives differently. The whole scenario of taking the invalid mother and caregiver along while trying to reinvent themselves seemed foolish from the start and was proven so during the reading. Ok, it's fiction....I hope! Ultimately the whoremongering, drunken reprobates have changes of heart, start to sober up, find work and move on, each man leaving the other friend for his own reasons, and to his own devices. I did love the use of words that the author employed! Several had me searching for meanings or finding new contexts! And as a long time AWS member, the wine info was interesting and I made some notes! A good read, not complex. That adjective is better left for the characters.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
it is a good follow up on the authors previous book.
Brandon Martin More than 1 year ago
Fantastic! I could not put it down. If you loved Sideways then Vertical brings the story of Miles full circle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you ever wanted to continue riding along with Miles and Jack as they drink fine wines and sleep with sultry women, "Vertical" definitely delivers. But Rex Pickett doesn't merely retread the same terrain as he did in "Sideways", he sets his story on existential fire, deconstructs it, and then boldly shoves it into uncharted emotional territory for himself and his alter-ego, Miles Raymond. If a "sequel" is technically just more of something, then "Vertical" does not qualify. Life is drastically different for Miles this time around, who is reeling from his success as a writer who's book became a hot movie (sound familiar?). In "Sideways" Miles was dogged by his failures, now Miles is dogged by his success and its trappings: drowning in all the Pinot and p---y he could ever hope for. Like Icarus before him, Miles is flying too close to the sun and his proverbial wings are melting. Between chugging from spit-buckets before cheering crowds and engaging in whirlwind threesomes, he's quickly losing touch with reality. A reality that becomes impossible to ignore when he chooses to rescue his ailing mother from her nursing home. His mission: to emcee a hedonistic wine festival in Oregon en route to depositing his mother in Wisconsin to live out her final days. Easier said than done, to say the least. Yes, Miles and Jack are back, loaded up on wine and hitting the West Coast asphalt (along with an eternally-stoned Filipina caretaker and his mother's pesky dog). Only now, Jack is the loser going nowhere fast with his life (divorced, jobless) and Miles is the wild womanizer, a role-reversal that offers much insight into both characters, and a lot of laughs. Once again, Miles sets out on a road trip with the best of intentions, only to have them backfire in all the right ways, setting an unpredictable domino-effect into motion that ultimately makes him a better person in the end. If "Sideways" was about sending off a best friend in style to get married, then "Vertical" is about sending off a parent to die with some semblance of dignity. In both cases, Miles is undergoing a personal transformation despite focusing all his efforts on others. Like life, "Vertical" is not a comedy nor a drama -- it is decidedly both, and with potent effect. I laughed out loud on several occasions (the ever-incorrigible Jack continues to get himself into horrible-yet-hilarious predicaments) and cried twice toward the end. The author is able to provoke this spectrum of emotions because he realizes that at the end of every lustful bacchanal, there is an existential hangover that must be dealt with. These days, it's hard to find fictional prose that has the courage to embrace subject matter pertaining to actual human beings. Let's face it: when our art is designed purely for escapism, we ultimately end up escaping our own humanity. Rex Pickett knows this all too well, and delivers -- more than just a sequel -- a bittersweet meditation on Fame, Friendship and Family that is not to be missed.
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