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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Dicks, Matthew: Unexpectedly, Milo

  Amazon  

4 stars

In his second novel, Unexpectedly, Milo, Matthew Dicks tells the story of Milo, a 30-something home health care aide who's been living a lie since childhood. When we meet him his marriage is troubled, principally because he and his wife are inherently incompatible, but also because their relationship is based on a fiction: Milo has never let his status-conscious wife know who he really is. She can just about stand her husband driving around on a moped and playing Dungeons and Dragons with his nerdy friends, but she is unlikely to accept the fact that he is routinely plagued by the need to satisfy random urges--harmless but strange things like being compelled to open Smuckers jelly jars or to sing "99 Luftballoons" at a karaoke bar or to let all the air out of his tires. Thus for all the years of their courtship and marriage Milo has satisfied his urges on the sly. When Unexpectedly, Milo opens, our hero's life is about to change in a big way. Not only is his marriage in crisis, but Milo also makes an unlikely discovery: he finds a stranger's video diary and camera on a park bench. Viewing the videos leads to Milo taking a road trip south. Thus we first meet him in a Burger King parking lot off of I-95, south of Washington, DC, surreptitiously opening the Smuckers jars he had stashed in his trunk.

Anyone who's read Matthew Dicks's Something Missing (see my review) will recognize similar elements in this story: an unlikely hero with a secret life and obsessive compulsive tendencies sets out to save a stranger with whom he feels an intimate connection. Milo and Martin--the protagonist of Something Missing--are both hugely likable characters with sweet stories that end well. I enjoyed Something Missing a bit more than Unexpectedly, Milo, however, because Martin's career and problems were more interesting to me than Milo's. Also, Unexpectedly, Milo seems a bit repetitive at times. But on the whole the book is an enjoyable read. I'm very glad to have discovered a new author whose books (and blog posts) I will continue to look forward to.

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