The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim is Jonathan Coe's latest heart-breaking and hilarious novel
Maxwell Sim could be any of us. He could be you.
He's about to have a mid-life crisis (though eh doesn't know it yet). He'll be found in his car in the north of Scotland, half-naked and alone, suffering hypothermia, with a couple of empty whisky bottles and a boot full of toothbrushes.
It's a far cry from a restaurant in Sydney, where his story starts.
But then Maxwell Sim has, unknowingly, got a long way to go. If he knew now about his lonely journey to the Shetland Isles, or the truth about his father and the folded photograph, or the mystery of Poppy and her peculiar job, or even about Emma's lovely, fading voice, then perhaps he's stay where he was - hiding from destiny.
But Max knows none of it. And nor do you - at least not yet. . .
Equal parts funny and moving, The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim will be cherished by readers everywhere, from fans of David Nicholls to Will Self.
'Witty, unexpected and curiously unsettling. Coe carries it off with empathy, comedy and a ventriloquist's ear for idiom' Literary Review
'Clever, engaging, spring-loaded with mysteries and surprises' Time Out
'Masterly, highly engaging. Coe's eye for the details of contemporary life remains as sharp as ever' Daily Mail
Jonathan Coe's novels are filled with biting social commentary, moving and astute observations of life and hilarious set pieces that have made him one of the most popular writers of his generation. His other titles, The Accidental Woman, The Rotters' Club (winner of the Everyman Wodehouse prize), The House of Sleep (winner of the1998 Prix Médicis Étranger), A Touch of Love, What a Carve Up! (winner of the 1995 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize) and The Rain Before it Falls, are all available in Penguin paperback.
Charles and Di, Blur vs. Oasis, mobile phones or dial tones... the Nineties were a cultural and technological melting pot. Here, from J. K. Rowling to Jonathan Coe, Ben Okri to Helen Fielding, are some of the authors who best captured the decade in words.
The author of Costa Book Award-winner Middle England talks us through what's on his bedside table at the moment, from vintage psychological thrillers to French bestsellers.