cover image Unexpectedly, Milo

Unexpectedly, Milo

Matthew Dicks. Broadway, 14.99 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-307-59230-9

Dicks offers another neurotic romp (after Something Missing), this one about a Connecticut home nurse and closet OCD sufferer who, recently separated from his uptight wife, satisfies the demands of his disorder by, among other things, flipping open jars of grape jelly and singing German pop music. Among Milo Slade’s geriatric patients are a man dependent on Viagra for his addiction to Internet pornography and a woman who makes Milo rake her shag carpeting. Milo, meanwhile, stumbles onto a cache of videotapes that form a mysterious woman’s video diary. In it, she confesses her secrets and talks about the guilt she carries around about a childhood friend named Tess who disappeared and is, the woman believes, dead. The story prompts Milo to take a road trip to North Carolina to find Tess, and though it upsets his routine, he is finally forced to share the demands of his disorder with someone else, which changes his rather grave perspective on life. Despite exhaustive commentary after every demand takes hold, Milo proves to be a pretty charming character, even if a lot of the intended humor gets buried beneath his suffering. (Aug.)