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The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim by Jonathan Coe

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Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 27 May 2010.

Jonathan Coe is a great observer of human nature and once again he gives us a thoroughly believable and sympathetic character in Maxwell Sim. Small, and sometimes seemingly insignificant, decisions can make such huge changes in our lives and this seems to always come through in Coe's novels. Brilliant, funny, poignant - Coe is one of the best writers of modern times.

If you like Jonathan Coe you might also like to read books by Joshua Ferris, John Irving and David Baddiel.


The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim by Jonathan Coe

Maxwell Sim seems to have hit rock bottom. Estranged from his father, newly divorced, unable to communicate with his only daughter, he realizes that while he may have seventy-four friends on Facebook, there is nobody in the world with whom he can actually share his problems. Then a business proposition comes his way - a strange exercise in corporate PR that will require him to spend a week driving from London to a remote retail outlet on the Shetland Isles. Setting out with an open mind, good intentions and a friendly voice on his SatNav for company, Maxwell finds that this journey soon takes a more serious turn, and carries him not only to the furthest point of the United Kingdom, but into some of the deepest and darkest corners of his own past. In his sparkling and hugely enjoyable new book Jonathan Coe reinvents the picaresque novel for our time.

About the Author

Jonathan Coe

Jonathan Coe was born in Birmingham in 1961. Expo 58 is his tenth novel. The previous nine are all available in Penguin: The Accidental Woman, A Touch of Love, The Dwarves of Death, What a Carve Up! (which won the 1995 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), The House of Sleep (which won the 1998 Prix Medicis Etranger), The Rotters' Club (winner of the Everyman Wodehouse Prize), The Closed Circle, The Rain Before It Falls and The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim. His biography of the novelist B.S. Johnson, Like a Fiery Elephant, won the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize for best non-fiction book of the year.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th May 2010


Jonathan Coe

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