Dare I say it - this is even better than the hilarious 'Sideways'. While Sideways focussed on Miles and Jack on their buddy road trip through the Californian vineyards, Vertical tells the tale of Miles and Jack again with some added passengers - this allows for some deliciously funny set-pieces. The dry, laid-back banterish language is even funnier than before and there are the poignant moments that layered Sideways so beautifully.
For those considering buying, you are in for an absolute treat; One of the funniest three books I've ever read along with Sideways and A walk in the woods by Bill Bryson.
I'm a big fan of Sideways. Its both top on my favourite book and film list after all this time. Naturally, I had concerns that Vertical couldn't be as good. So when I started reading Vertical I just wanted it to be Sideways all over again. Exactly the same candy bar... I wanted to be wrapped up in the story just as much and I worried it couldn't work the magic. But it did. My concerns evaporated as I caught up with Miles, on top of his game but still mixed up and thereby still endearing, his wing man Jack, taken down a peg or two but still solid as a rock and others, some new, some making guest appearances and some who I didn't realise had so much to give. And as the wine flowed and opened up it became more than Sideways, this is Miles' journey with just even more outrageous funnies and wince inducing scapes than before. Like Sideways this is one I'll keep going back to. And one year I'll be going to the IPNC! See you there!
One of the best movies I've ever seen is now supported with one of the best sequels I've ever read. Rex Pickett has struck gold with Vertical, the follow up to Sideways. 7 years after Miles and Jack traveled the Santa Ynez wine valley, they're back with a heart warming rediscovery of the ultimate road trip.
Wine, women, wine, laughs, wine, song and oh yes, did I mention wine? And I don't mean any F&£^¥@ Merlot!
I really loved this book, I always wanted to see a follow up to Sideways and Rex delivers big time.
Don't want to Spoil the plot, BUT, Miles is now a successful writer and is also the God of Pinot Noir in the California Wine Growing community. He uses this succes to his own good but secretly wishes for more. Que Jack, the womanising actor struggling with domesticity and fatherhood. Add a sickly aged Mother, pot smoking personal carer and send them thousands of miles through the US of A on a wine fest and mission of mercy.
Brilliantly written, the story wraps itself around you, sucks you in and delivers real life endearing issues, love, life and tragedy.
The end looks like the end but I really hope it's not, Espana, here we come? Doubledutch13, Fife, Scotland.
Let's get things straight - I loved Sideways, Rex Pickett's first novel and equally adored the Alexander Payne film it spawned, often boring my friends in a kind of Mark Kermodian way about how it's my favourite film. What annoys me, and no doubt others though is that the obvious film-like qualities of this follow up may never make it to the big screen. What Pickett has done here is twist the plot of the first and, without giving too much away, enriched the characters with a far more sobering story to serve as a plotline. If I have one gripe it's that Jack's character is perhaps marginally sidelined, understandably, as Miles does his best to cope with his increasingly demanding mother and carer but then even he gets a fantastic moment to shine in a scene that will have male readers crossing their legs in wincing astonishment! Vertical is a fabulous book, a wonderful sequel and a screenplay surely destined for glory.