Archive for August 7th, 2010

7th August
2010
written by Steph

Expect the unexpected!

I suppose if I had been patient I could have included this review in my “August Review” post, but I wasn’t and I didn’t so it’ll get a shout-out of its own. For BookPage I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Matthew Dicks’ second novel, Unexpectedly Milo, which is in stores now. For longish-time readers of this blog, you’ll remember I read his debut, Something Missing, last year, which featured a rather endearing and unusual catburglar as its protagonist (note: Martin did not actually steal cats), and I was duly charmed. So when I saw Dicks had a second book out I was very excited indeed, and I’m happy to report that excitement was not misplaced.

Unexpectedly Milo features another oddball hero, this time a man who struggles with incorporating some rather intense (not to mention intensely bizarre) compulsions into his daily life. Alongside working as an aide to the elderly and infirm, and trying to keep his sinking marriage from becoming a total quagmire, Milo also juggles the need to crack ice from icecube trays, sing “99 Luftballons”, and sometimes smash a weeble between doors and their frames. And let’s not even get started with his Smuckers grape jelly fixation… Oh, and did I mention that despite these rather kooky desires, Milo has managed to keep them secret from everyone he holds near and dear for his entire life? Talk about stressful.

Rather than saying more about the thrust of the plot here, I’ll direct to you my BookPage review, which you can read here. Once more I was delighted and entertained by Dicks’ foray into the lives of those who live somewhere left of center. I love that you never know exactly what to expect with his novels, except of course that you’re in for a cracking good read. If Dicks continues his pace of publishing one book per year, at least we readers who like something a little bit out there will be assured of having one unabashedly fun read per annum. Highly recommended.