by Rex Pickett
Category: Fiction / General
354 pages; ISBN: 0312324669
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
St. Martin's, Jun 2004, $13.95, 354 pp.
In Santa Monica, Miles Raymond wonders where he went wrong. Divorced for over a year, his writing efforts a failure and now his landlord is on his butt, he ponders whether his wine expertise has pickled his brain. Still he looks forward to the trek with his best friend actor Jack Cole as they travel to Santa Ynez wine country to celebrate the latter’s last week as a free bachelor.
Jack shocks Miles with his expectations, a week of sexual depravity starting with a bimbo he picks up as soon as they arrive. Miles also meets Maya who wants him, but he becomes philosophical ignoring the sexual attraction between them. He ponders why modern day marriages usually end in divorce, thinking of him and Victoria while envying her new spouse. He conjectures whether marriage could survive if society-accepted men sleeping around? Meanwhile Jack hops into another bed until the women learn he is getting married on Sunday and bring, with a bang, Miles out of his musing and the fure groom out of the boudoir.
This male bonding road show is a step above most genre entries because of the sensitive, at times maudlin, but mostly amusing narrative by Miles. Readers will genuinely be fond of Miles but wonder what is wrong with Jack as he out of control when sows his wild oats. The support cast adds to the wackiness whether it is to hunt women and animals or crash a car. SIDEWAYS is a fun tale that is at its best when the slapstick is limited and Miles contemplates relationships while ignoring a potentially loving one.
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