Monday, October 26, 2009

Only Milo by Barry Smith

Only Milo by Barry Smith
256 pages
Published September 2009 by Inkwater Press
Source: the publisher

Milo is, literally, a closet writer, a man with a stack of unpublished manuscripts neatly stacked in his closet. He has just turned 62 and is finally eligible for Social Security which will allow him to give up his job delivering the Thrifty Nickel want ads. When he takes Margaret on a date, he has her read one of his manuscripts. Milo has used some Spanish in the manuscript and it's this that catches Margaret's attention. She's just discovered a Mexican author and is keen to have his works translated. She's sure he's the next big thing in the publishing industry and Milo is more than happy to have the work. The problem is that the novel is terrible. Since Margaret has no idea what the book is about, Milo decides to entirely rewrite it using one of his own manuscripts. And the book is an enormous success. So successful that the Mexican "author," who is perfectly fine with the whole plan, appears on Oprah. Where he almost spills the beans about the ghost writing. Which does not please Milo at all, because Milo is already hard a work rewriting the Mexican's next novel. Milo has got to take matters into his own hands.

"Maybe it was the SPAM Reuben sandwich."

"If we ate quickly we could catch the "early bird" matinee at the Rialto. $3 a ticket.

Maybe it was the TV tables."

How's that for a first date?

This is definitely the most unique book I have read in a very long time. In fact, I have never seen anything written in the same way. It's a quick read, made much quicker by the fact that I just could not put it down. It's a dark comedy, emphasis on the comedy. Smith has stripped the story down to the essentials and it's a refreshing change. I kept wanting to read passages to the hubby, but I knew almost from the start that I wanted him to read the book as well. It's next up on his tbr stack. When he's done with it, it's going to make the rounds of my family. It's a book that I'm sure everyone from my 17-year-old son to my father might enjoy.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting an interview with Barry Smith and posting a giveaway for your chance to win an autographed copy of "Only Milo."


  1. That is a unique premise. You've made me very curious.

  2. Sounds like such an interesting book! I love the idea of Milo taking on the job of translating a book and then it snowballing into the actual author taking credit for Milo's own work on Oprah - what is that? I just love it! Can't wait to look for this one at my local bookshop. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the fabulous review! And I love the interview with Barry!

  4. I adored this book. You're right about the 'I can't put it down!' factor. I'm passing my copy around the family, too... :) Great review!

  5. wow....this plot sounds like nothing i have read before! wow! great review!

  6. Wonderful review! I loved this book!