'I could recommend The Winshaw Legacy as I a superb political novel, or as a fiendishly clever meta-novel, or as a unique modern historical novel, or as a riveting family saga, but I'm afraid that would drive everyone, yawning in terror, straight out of the bookstore. So let's just say it has naked pictures of Natasha Richardson...Can't say that? Well, let's say it's a nasty farce with lots of bathroom humor and violence which reminds me at least as much of Fawlty Towers as it does of Midnight's Children.'

-- Jay McInerney

A postmodern detective story, a scathing send-up of the rapacious eighties, a macabre Gothic -- all rolled up in a bravura tragicomic entertainment.

The Winshaw family, as their official biographer is warned by old Mortimer Winshaw himself, is the meanest, greediest, cruellest bunch of backstabbing penny-pinching bastards who ever crawled across the face of the earth.' Bankers, industrialists, politicians, arms dealers and media barons -- they rule Britannia, more or less. They also have a guilty secret in the shape of a mad aunt stashed away in a remote asylum, convinced of familial treachery during World War II and determined to effect the ruin of her entire clan.

In the summer of 1990, while Saddam Hussein is provoking yet another war, the Winshaws' biographer (a severely depressed young novelist) is piecing together the truth of their sordid legacy, and discovers that it converges bizarrely with the plot of a film he's been obsessed by since childhood. Moreover, it seems that all of this, dynasty and cinema alike, has some mysterious connection with his own troubled history. Of course whether he -- or anybody else -- will be alive when this compound riddle is solved remains to be seen.

Savagely funny, hugely inventive and passionately political. The Winshaw Legacy assumes Dickensian proportions as it excoriates the modern age of greed -- and heralds the American debut of an extraordinary writer. As The Economist concluded: Talented comic novelists are rare [but] that exclusive club -- Thomas Love Peacock, Evelyn Waugh and P. G. Wodehouse are among its members -- has admitted a newcomer, an Englishman called Jonathan Coe.'

'A remarkable achievement; intelligent, funny, and important.' -- The Times Literary Supplement

'An extravagant literary blockbuster...A grand and intelligent novel, so full of accomplishment and pleasure.' -- New Statesman & Society'

Really, something to get excited about...his big, hilarious, intricate, furious, moving treat of a novel.' -- The Guardian
Maxwell Sim can’t seem to make a single meaningful connection. His absent father was always more interested in poetry; he maintains an e-mail correspondence with his estranged wife, though under a false identity; his incomprehensible teenage daughter prefers her BlackBerry to his conversation; and his best friend since childhood is refusing to return his calls. He has seventy-four friends on Facebook, but nobody to talk to.

In an attempt to stir himself out of this horrible rut, Max quits his job as a customer liaison at the local department store and accepts a strange business proposition that falls in his lap by chance: he’s hired to drive a Prius full of toothbrushes to the remote Shetland Islands, part of a misguided promotional campaign for a dental-hygiene company intent on illustrating the slogan “We Reach Furthest.”

But Max’s trip doesn’t go as planned, as he’s unable to resist making a series of impromptu visits to important figures from his past who live en route. After a string of cruelly enlightening and intensely awkward misadventures, he finds himself falling in love with the soothing voice of his GPS system (“Emma”) and obsessively identifying with a sailor who perpetrated a notorious hoax and subsequently lost his mind. Eventually Max begins to wonder if perhaps it’s a severe lack of self-knowledge that’s hampering his ability to form actual relationships.

A humane satire and modern-day picaresque, The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim is a gently comic and rollickingly entertaining novel about the paradoxical difficulties of making genuine attachments in a world of advanced communications technology and rampant social networking.
A dream of a novel."
--Erica Wagner, The Times (London)

Following The Winshaw Legacy--Coe's ecstatically reviewed American debut, winner of the John Lewellyn Rhys Prize in England and France's coveted Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger--comes this beguiling, eccentric entertainment.
        Ashdown--a vast clifftop manor on the English coast--was once a university residence, where a group of students met briefly before going their separate ways. Twelve years later, it has been transformed into a clinic for sleep disorders, and a series of strange coincidences and ostensible synchronicities draws the same group of people together once again, each of them in different ways plagued by sleep.
        Sarah is narcoleptic, and her inability to distinguish between dreams and waking reality gives rise to a great many misunderstandings--one of which is to change Robert's life forever, as he persists for years (and then some) in his attempt to win her love. For Terry, a disillusioned film critic whose career has been derailed by Sarah's affliction, sleep is merely a memory, for his insomnia is complete and he can only yearn for the tantalizing dreams he enjoyed in youth. And for the increasingly deranged Dr. Dudden, who has made the subject the focus of his medical practice, sleep is nothing less than a global disease.
        With panache worthy of Nabokov, and with the heart to match his sophistication, Jonathan Coe has written a breathtakingly original comedy about the powers we acquire--and those we relinquish--when we fall asleep, or fall in love.

"This is a remarkable book, most impressive for its subtle narrative patterning, like a dapple of light and shade, allowing us to indulge the illusion of understanding its characters, until, all at once, the darkness, the isolation and the mystery return. Perhaps most strange of all, for a novel about insomniacs, The House of Sleep is a wonderful bedtime read."
--David Nokes, Sunday Times
Over a career that spanned forty-three years and seventy-seven films, Jimmy Stewart went from leading man to national idol. Classics such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story, Harvey, and, of course, It’s A Wonderful Life are far more than mere movies; they are visions of America as it wanted to be seen. With his inimitable (though widely mimicked) down-home drawl, Jimmy Stewart came to embody the ideal American male, lean, affably sarcastic, honorable, endearingly awkward. His double takes were memorable; his way of muttering his asides charmed audiences. Most of all, he was the man whose heart was always in the right place, and who would see always see his way clear to doing the right thing. “If Bess and I had a son,” Harry Truman once said, “we’d want him to be just like Jimmy Stewart.”   
Jonathon Coe traces Stewart’s beginnings in a small town in Pennsylvania, his amateur dramatics and college years at Princeton, and the early films and stardom through to his heroics as an air force pilot during World War II and his triumphant return to Hollywood. Though he was adored in black and white, Stewart’s mature work shows his range as an actor, his ability to play far more than just the good-natured leading man. By the time he retired from acting, Stewart had films credits that were unparalleled—and a place in the American heart that was unrivaled. Illustrated with 150 photographs, taken on and off the set, this handsome tribute gives us the private man as well as the screen legend and guides us through the whole wonderful life of Jimmy Stewart.
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