By Rex Pickett
Loose Gravel Press, Paperback, 9780615392189, 404pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
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.