St. Rita's Earth
Photo by jeroen020 used under a Creative Commons license.

Rex Pickett, Sideways (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2004).
Two friends, Miles and Jack, head up to the wine country in the Santa Ynez Valley, in Santa Barbara County, California, for one last singles weekend before Jack gets married. Miles, not really rebounding from a divorce and unsuccessful as a novelist, is an oenophile; Jack, a moderately successful actor, is looking to party before he settles down. This book was made into the Paul Giamatti movie that depressed sales of merlot, but there’s more here that was left on the cutting-room floor when the film was made, and there are some differences as well. This novel doesn’t need to be aged to be enjoyed, but it’s not plonk either.

Here is Google Book Search. Sheridan Sawyer didn’t like it. Nor did LaShawn. Media Kitten liked it. Liane Schmidt liked it, and more than the movie. WhiplashGirlchild disagrees. So does Liz Miller (Bookslut), who is really impressed by the adaptation. Mo Pie takes a mixed view. I think Colophon liked it. Daphne Charette interviewed Pickett. So did W. Blake Gray (San Francisco Chronicle). Or listen to this piece about him on NPR’s Fresh Air. Patrick S. Pemberton profiled Pickett after the movie’s success. The movie spawned a wine club, which offers this map (.pdf) of the route Miles and Jack took in the movie and travel recommendations.
Beth Adele Long finds Pickett going after Stephen King.

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