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Jonathan Coe
Book review: 'The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim' by Jonathan Coe
Book review: 'The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim' by Jonathan Coe

Maxwell Sim, the title character and dominant voice in the ninth novel from British writer Jonathan Coe, is not someone who could be considered a good traveling companion. And yet, this is exactly the situation Coe offers in "The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim," a smart if occasionally obvious satire of materialism and modern life centered on its 48-year-old narrator. Boorish, not very bright and generally weak in a way that makes him frustrating but often amusing company, Sim is a lonely divorcé hurtling toward a midlife crisis. We know the crisis is coming thanks to a news item on the novel's first page, describing the surreal scene of Sim's eventual discovery in...

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