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Unexpectedly, Milo: A Novel Paperback – August 3, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Reading a Matthew Dicks novel always proves to be an unadulterated joy, and Unexpectedly, Milo, is no exception. Dicks’ gift lies in his ability to take superficially eccentric characters and dig beneath their peculiarities to develop full-bodied, lovable human beings. Rather than feeling gimmicky, Dicks' approach to his his characters’ off-center habits provides insight into broader truths on human nature and the things that make us tick. Readers join Milo on a riveting and tender voyage into the heart of insecurity—the fear we all carry inside us that no one will ever truly accept us for who we are. Filled with humor and sweetness, Unexpectedly, Milo reminds us that happiness can be found in the strangest of places. --BookPage
More About the Author
When not hunched over a computer screen, he fills his days as an elementary school teacher, a storyteller, a blogger, a wedding DJ, a minister, a life coach, and a Lord of Sealand. He has been teaching for 17 years and is a former West Hartford Teacher of the Year and a finalist for Connecticut Teacher of the Year.
Matthew is a 20-time Moth StorySLAM champion and three-time GrandSLAM champion whose stories have been featured on their nationally syndicated Moth Radio Hour and their weekly podcast. He has also told stories for The American Life, TED, The Colin McEnroe Show, The Story Collider, The Liar Show, Literary Death Match, The Mouth, and many others. He is a regular guest on several Slate podcasts, including The Gist, where he teaching storytelling.
Matthew is also the co-founder and creative director of Speak Up, a Hartford-based storytelling organization that produces shows throughout New England. He teaches storytelling and public speaking throughout the world to individuals, corporations, school districts, and more. He has most recently taught at Yale, The University of Connecticut Law School. Purdue University, Kripalu, and Graded School in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Matthew is the co-host of Boy Vs. Girl, a podcast about gender and gender stereotypes.
Matthew is married to friend and fellow teacher, Elysha, and they have two children, Clara and Charlie. He grew up in the small town of Blackstone, Massachusetts, where he made a name for himself by dying twice before the age of eighteen and becoming the first student in his high school to be suspended for inciting riot upon himself.
Top Customer Reviews
Milo quite obviously has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and has untold routines that he has to do so that his head doesn't feel like it will blow off. Yet he has managed to be married for 3 years without his wife knowing about his quirks and when she keeps telling him she needs space, he moves out. Apparently she meant only to go visit a friend for a week or two and to not sign a lease on an apartment. They aren't communicating very well at this point. But Milo had signed a lease and he is starting to realize that life feels so much better when he can do his rituals when needed instead of having to wait to be sure no one will observe him.
Then life takes an unexpected detour when he finds a video-camera and film on a park bench. In his search to find the owner, he discovers that the owner was using the camera as a video journal and that she feels responsible for the death of two friends. Milo decides that he has to help her and goes off on many tangents to help this girl. Along the way he makes friends and discovers that even when he lets himself and his problems be known to others, they still like him and care for him. As he observes the people around him, he comes to realize that we all have some kind of quirk and it doesn't make us bad, it just makes us each an individual.Read more ›
Do you hide those habits from others, embarrassed that they might raise an eyebrow, or roll their eyes, or even -- horror of horrors -- laugh at you?
If you do any of these things (and who doesn't?), then Milo Slade has you beat all to heck.
This is a man who has arranged his life, including his employment, his marriage, where he lives and who he spends time with, around his habits. His demanding habits. His obsessive-compulsive habits, one could say, though Milo doesn't think he has OCD. He thinks he has a German submarine captain in his head who gives him orders, and then begins tightening valves and increasing pressure inside Milo's mind until the orders are carried out. He doesn't think this is literally true, but it is how he pictures the mysterious source of these strange demands that control nearly everything he does.
Demands like: opening jars of Smuckers grape jelly, just to hear the pop! as the vacuum seal releases. Bowling a strike. Singing "99 Luftballoons," by Nena, in the original German, karaoke style. Cracking the cubes out of an ice cube tray. Letting the air out of his car tires and replacing it with fresh air. Perhaps the most difficult are the words that arise in Milo's mind -- placebo, or loquacious -- and which repeat over and over again, becoming louder and more insistent until he can think of nothing else, can do nothing else, and is overwhelmed with pain, until: he can hear somebody use the word.Read more ›
Each of Dick's novels centers on a nice guy with a lot to offer but with some sort of social disorder that makes normal operation in the world difficult. Each character has carved out a niche that allows him to function successfully with his quirks/disabilities, and Dick details the niche with humorous meticulousness. As the hero's world is revealed, however, he also faces a crisis and, to do the right thing, must exit his comfort zone and put his mode of coping at risk. Resolution of his crisis also involves resolution of a mystery that both keeps the reader engaged and draws on the hero's resourcefulness. In addressing the crisis, the hero is brought into the world and transformed. He remains himself, but takes that special self into the wider world. In short, he grows up.
Like the wonderful early novels of Donald E. Westlake, such as The Busy Body and Help I Am Being Held Prisoner which threw likable, bright ne'er-do-wells into similar humorous, mysteries and capers from which they emerged grown up and better men, Unexpectedly, Milo (and Something Missing) are full of clever, real-world observations. You may not know a Milo, but he and his world will look true and familiar. One of my new favorite authors.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am really liking Matthew Dicks as an author, but for some reason this was his hardest book for me to get into.
I don't know why, because it was an excellent book. Read more
I found the characterization of Milo to be so deeply interesting and absorbing. I felt that my understanding of what it's like to live in an OCD-dominated mind got greatly... Read morePublished 6 months ago by laurie b. everitt
I liked the book. Milo's seemingly extreme "quirks" were not totally out of the realm of possibility. Severe OCD is not a laughing matter. Read morePublished 8 months ago by J Tinsman
I so thoroughly enjoyed this book, I have been unmotivated to pick up another since since I know my next book will not be as enjoyable! Matthew Dicks is a treasure. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
This strange and wonderful hero's exaggerated reactions to life make the rest of us feel normal. The story has many fun characters and plot twists.Published 16 months ago by puppyraiser
I really enjoyed this book. Great storyline that was unique, funny, and thought provoking.
Plan to look for other books by this author.
I thought Mr. Dicks first book was a fun read. This one, even more so. I love Milo's mind. I kept chuckling as I read this book. I am much looking forward to reading Mr. Read morePublished on January 11, 2014 by Amazon Customer