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Sideways Paperback – 1 Feb 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press (1 Feb. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312342519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312342517
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.5 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"A fresh take... credit screenwriter Pickett for coming up with a debut that goes some distance... Skillful work about a friendship between two ultimately likeable guys."
- "Kirkus Reviews"
"[A] lively debut... Pickett takes his readers on a jolly ride."
- "Publishers Weekly"
"A buddy novel in the cinematic vein of Swingers... Pickett plays the sex-and-the-single man angle for all its worth here, nodding occasionally at such larger themes as friendship and romance. Call it Nick Hornby lite."
- "Booklist"


A fresh take... credit screenwriter Pickett for coming up with a debut that goes some distance... Skillful work about a friendship between two ultimately likeable guys. "Kirkus Reviews"

[A] lively debut... Pickett takes his readers on a jolly ride. "Publishers Weekly"

A buddy novel in the cinematic vein of Swingers... Pickett plays the sex-and-the-single man angle for all its worth here, nodding occasionally at such larger themes as friendship and romance. Call it Nick Hornby lite. "Booklist""

A fresh take... credit screenwriter Pickett for coming up with a debut that goes some distance... Skillful work about a friendship between two ultimately likeable guys. Kirkus Reviews

[A] lively debut... Pickett takes his readers on a jolly ride. Publishers Weekly

A buddy novel in the cinematic vein of Swingers... Pickett plays the sex-and-the-single man angle for all its worth here, nodding occasionally at such larger themes as friendship and romance. Call it Nick Hornby lite. Booklist

"

"A fresh take... credit screenwriter Pickett for coming up with a debut that goes some distance... Skillful work about a friendship between two ultimately likeable guys." --Kirkus Reviews

"[A] lively debut... Pickett takes his readers on a jolly ride." --Publishers Weekly

"A buddy novel in the cinematic vein of Swingers... Pickett plays the sex-and-the-single man angle for all its worth here, nodding occasionally at such larger themes as friendship and romance. Call it Nick Hornby lite." --Booklist

About the Author

Rex Pickett lives in Los Angeles, CA. Sideways is his first novel.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ultimately unfulfilling

I think this is sadly one of the rare instances where the consensus is that a film has bettered a novel. I say sadly, because I like everyone else adored the film on so many levels and so was hoping for greater things that I actually got served. I use a vague wine metaphor there because I think it draw the novel quite accurately. You might, for example, have an average piece of terroir producing average grapes, if you place those grapes into the hands of a master vintner, then the results can be sublime. Whilst Pickett is surely nothing more than an average Hollywood writer, certainly the production team that re-worked the novel into a much tighter, much funnier and much more cohesive script are the real ones who deserve the credit here.

I actually found the slack pace of the novel, the endless reaching for the thesaurus and the quite unpolished nature of the work quite annoying in the end. The characters weren't very well drawn, they were loose and quite transparent, the plot was contrived and excessive in parts and the whole project really lacked a sense of togetherness. Again I would draw on a wine analogy and say that the whole book project was quite sloppily put together and could have used some secondary fermentation to bring it to its full potential.

Would I recommend the book? No, ultimately not. Not unless it was in the bargain bin. I would instead, purchase a copy of the DVD and a bottle of Zinfandel with the difference.
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book. The characters are as large as life, I laughed out loud, and learnt something about wine. Although I read it after seeing the film, the screen version takes nothing away from the enjoyment of this novel. Oh, and by the way the ending differs from the screen version.....
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Format: Paperback
Rex Pickett, in his novel Sideways has probably created two of the most endearingly loveable characters of recent years. Both men are full of petty denials and insecurities about love, sex and life, but their immutable friendship, and their ability to laugh off their respective troubles, makes for a terribly funny, and heartfelt story as we follow their escapades throughout Santa Ynez wine country.The movie version of Sideways will be released later this month, so it will be interesting to see what director Alexander Payne does with this story. At times, the book seems a little contrived, reading like a budding screenplay, rather than a piece of literary fiction, but the sparkling dialogue and the fabulous descriptions of the local wine growing country will keep most readers entertained. Sideways is unquestionably one of the best "buddy" stories to be released in some time. Also, readers don't have to know anything about wines and wine growing to appreciate the detailed wine tasting elements of this story. Mike Leonard October 04.
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By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jack, actor and director, is about to get married so arranges to spend the week leading up to the big day with his best friend and best man, as yet unpublished writer Miles. They plan to spend the time on a wine-tasting tour of the Californian vineyards, Miles being rather an expert on the subject with a particular love for Pinot. Jack is already comfortably off, and marrying into a wealthy family can only enhance his financial security, whereas Miles is struggling to keep his head above water and pinning all his hopes on his latest novel - he should know by the end of the week if has been successful in finding a publisher. But their monetary worth is not the only difference between them; big, dashing, affable Jack easily charms all he meets, a contrast to Miles' rather moribund nature, still not over his divorce not to mention his lack of self-worth over the lack of success with his books. Putting aside the wine and spending time with Miles Jack's main objective during this week is to get himself laid - as often as possible, not a course of action Miles altogether approves of. It all seems like a recipe for disaster, and perhaps it is - but not necessarily in the obvious way, but certainly with most entertaining results.

Jack and Miles' attraction as main protagonists is found not so much in their individual qualities so much as in their friendship, a friendship so secure that it can withstand any obstacle that befalls them, whether self-inflicted or dropped on them by others. A friendship that allows them to speak frankly and at times bluntly, that allows them to disagree and argue and even physically fight yet still come out of it all laughing. For that is the real attraction of this account, recounted by Miles, of their celebration of Jack's last week before matrimony.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...or so the tabloid headlines might have read, in the weeks after Sideways (the movie) was released and the public inevitably sought out the book of the film. I was among them in being enchanted by Paul Giamatti's comically depressed and lovably amoral portrayal of Miles, the book's protagonist, and Thomas Haden Church's equally good casting as his equally amoral (yet somewhat more upbeat) best-friend Jack. So after contemplating what kind of wonderful, witty and wine-infused novel could have spawned such a timeless classic, I purchased the above.

Big mistake.

"Rex Pickett," the book's dust-jacket warns ominously, "is a screenwriter who lives in Los Angeles. This is his first novel." Alarm bells immediately started to ring; but it could be a masterpiece, I told myself, the first of many - it could be a debut novel like Jonathan Safran Foer's "Everything is Illuminated" or Alex Garland's "The Beach".

It isn't.

Rex Pickett is quite obviously a screenwriter trying to write a novel. His dialogue is authentic but over-simplified, in the way that Hollywood dialogue often is. At times, the conversations sound so real that Pickett must simply have sat in a bar and eavesdropped and written down everything he heard.

The rest of the novel?
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