Book Review: The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim by Jonathan Coe
May 24, 2011 18 Comments
I read this book because it is the book of the month for my online book group boekgrrls. Actually, it was on my wishlist too, so I was keen to read it anyway.
I really like the cover. One thing was odd: when there was talk of toothbrushes in the story, the next time I looked at the cover I realised there are two yellow toothbrushes depicted. I had not noticed them before, I had not even noticed that there was anything yellow in the cover. How odd!
The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim: What it is about
Maxwell Sim is estranged from his father and his wife left him about half a year ago, together with their daughter Lucy. He’s been on sick leave from his job for a while now and has to make up his mind: go back to work or quit.
Then an old friend makes him an offer: drive to the North of Scotland for a toothbrush promotion. As there is no real hurry, he stops off on the way to visit several people from his past. That way, he’s confronted with his past but also learns some new things about his father, especially. Along the way, he also learns something new about himself.
The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim: What I thought
Well written, fast paced book. I didn’t particularly like Maxwell, but I did care for him. He was a bit of a loser and ready to give up. But he used the chances he got, and things turned out better for him eventually.
The ending was odd, though, and rather… deflating. What happens in the end negates the whole story, and that is a pity. I didn’t see the need for this at all. Still, I had a really good read so it’s a 5 star book for me, even with that ending.
It’s a fast read and one that you can put down, but when you do, in the back of your mind you remember that there is something nice waiting for you!
I got this book: from the library
I read this in: Dutch (De afschuwelijke eenzaamheid van Maxwell Sim), the original language is English
Number of pages: 411
First published: 2010
Genre: contemporary fiction, literary fiction