By MATTHEW DICKS
Matthew Dicks, the acclaimed author of Something Missing, has created a genre for himself as the go-to guy for the loveable-loser brand of neurotic humor: a mix between the immensely popular television show Monk and Woody Allen with a dash of Nick Hornby. He returns with another hilarious and sneakily profound tale: UNEXPECTEDLY, MILO: A Novel (Broadway Books; On Sale: August 3, 2010; Trade Paperback Original; $14.99), about a man whose behavior is truly odd, while being oddly relatable. When our neurotic but good-natured protagonist, Milo, stumbles upon a video confessional detailing a decade-old disappearance of a young girl, he sets off on a madcap journey to crack the case and winds up finding himself in the process.
Milo Slade, a thirty-three-year-old in-home nurse, is witnessing the rapid dissolution of his three-year marriage to a sophisticated, high-powered attorney named Christine who has recently opted for a trial separation. Though Milo doesn’t quite know the root of his marital problems, he inevitably blames himself, or more specifically, the demands of his obsessive- compulsive personality—the need to open jars of jelly (Smuckers grape being the preferred choice) just to absorb the satisfying pop of the pressure seal, to bowl a strike (no matter what hour of the day or night), or to sing “99 Luftballons” (the German version) at a karaoke bar, to name just a few.
While wallowing in the thought that no one, not even his wife, is aware of his odd compulsions, Milo discovers an abandoned video camera in the park as he’s walking his trusted beagle, Skywalker. Intending to return the camera to the rightful owner, he watches the first of fourteen tapes, hoping for any clues as to who it belongs to. What he finds instead is a video-diary confessional by a young woman who blames herself for the tragic disappearance and presumed death of a childhood friend. Even though Milo feels a bit voyeuristic, he is entranced by this woman’s candor—a quality he clearly doesn’t possess—and is struck with an OCD-type need to help her by solving the mystery of her friend and freeing the woman on the video from her long-held guilt.
In typical screwball fashion, Milo sets out on a cross-country journey to crack the case, and along the way, meets a zany cast of characters who help him discover that everyone has a bit of weirdness in them. UNEXPECTEDLY, MILO is a humorous and touching novel about coming to terms with oneself, embracing the journey, and finding love in unexpected places.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MATTHEW DICKS is the author of Something Missing. He teaches elementary school and in 2005 was named West Hartford’s Teacher of the Year. He also owns and operates a DJ company that performs at weddings throughout Connecticut when he isn’t shaping the minds of his class of fifth-graders. He lives in Newington, CT, with his wife; baby daughter, Clara; Lhasa Apso, Kaleigh; and two enormous, slightly insane house cats, Jack and Owen. For more information, please visit Matthew’s website at: www.matthewdicks.com, and check out his blog at: http://matthewdicks.typepad.com.
By Matthew Dicks
Published by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
Trade Paperback Original; $14.99; 352 pages
For more information about UNEXPECTEDLY, MILO or to schedule an interview with Matthew Dicks, please contact Caroline Sill at 212-782-8943 or firstname.lastname@example.org.