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7th August
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.


  1. 08/07/2010

    This sounds like something well worth exploring. There are so many good writers these days – I wonder how publishers can hope to get substantial sales for any one of these excellent new novels.

    I see you are reading The Unnamed – I enjoyed this and reviewed it on my site.

  2. 08/07/2010

    Hi Steph,
    I’m so happy to be dropping by again. My publicist alerted me to the BookPage review, which might be the best review I’ve ever received, and I was pleased to discover your post here related to it!

    So very happy that you enjoyed the book, and thanks for the recommendation to your readers. My third book, which is still in need of a title, is with my publisher now, and I expect a multi-million dollar offer any day. 🙂

    But it should be out next summer if all goes well. And I’m actually working on finishing a fourth this summer, which means I may have two out next year, doubling your potential enjoyment 9and my stress level).

    Thanks again for the kind words. They mean a lot.

    matthew dicks

  3. 08/08/2010

    Oh my! This one does sound good, and I am especially interested in the weeble smashing! I went out and got a copy of Something Missing after reading your review, and now it’s just a matter of getting it read! Very cool review, and it goes right on the list!

  4. 08/09/2010

    @ Tom C: Thankfully with bloggers, lesser publicized authors can get their due!
    Also, I am taking a little break from The Unnamed because it was just so sad…
    @ Matt: I’m glad you enjoyed the review – I certainly enjoyed the book! I look forward to your next books, whenever they should come out!
    @ zibilee: I really hope you enjoy Something Missing (I’m sure you will), and then you’ll want to rush out and get this one too! So fun!

  5. this one sounds so quirky, but i always take recommendations from you because your reviews are so well-written, honest, and informative. i haven’t heard of matthew dicks before this–missed last year’s post–but am headed to the library today and will see if either of his books are in. thanks! 🙂

  6. 08/10/2010

    @ nat: it was quirky, but not in an overwhelming way! Just in a very good, not your run-of-the-mill book kind of way. You will see that for all the oddity, Dicks never loses sight of the heart of his characters.

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