Vertical: Rex Pickett
I found this book through the new genre of social media and wanted to read it due to my fascination with the movie, Sideways. Usually, I read books before seeing the characters in a movie. It was interesting to follow Miles and Jack in their new written adventure called Vertical after getting to know them in the critically acclaimed film, Sideways.
In Vertical, Miles (aka Rex) and Jack embark on a road trip to the Oregon wine country with Miles’ elderly mother, Mrs. Raymond, and her pot smoking caretaker, Joy. Jack and Miles have been showered with massive amounts of fine wine due to the success of the movie Shameless (aka Sideways). The characters from Sideways get to live in the fast lane as superstars of the wine industry. Women and wine come at them in droves. Unfortunately, this hedonistic lifestyle is wearing on Miles and he must get his ailing mother and her beloved dog to live with her sister in Wisconsin. As the novel progresses, Miles becomes sober which causes alienation in his relationship with Jack. The blogger does not want to add spoilers but this book is just as poignant or even better than Sideways. Miles has matured and delved into a deeper relationship with his mother. Jack seems even more shallow and it is evident that they do not have much in common without the the common denominator of wine. Vertical is an important story of growing up and saying goodbye to parents and a latent adolescent life. Miles is wiser and more sober than in Sideways but a more productive person in the aftermath.
I am confused as to why, Vertical, is not a bestselling novel and Academy Award winning film because Mr. Pickett is a brilliant writer. From the Internet and twitter posts I have read, this wonderful book and film sits in wait for the go ahead from the brilliant director, Alexander Payne. Please, Mr. Payne give it a go.
FYI: Sideways is now an award-winning play in Los Angeles starring John Colella, Jonathan Bray, Julia McIlvaine, and Cloe Kromwell. Soon to be coming to a theater in your city!