2016 Reviews · Australian · Britain · contemporary fiction

Book Review: The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion


Book blurb:

A novel about love, music and coming to terms with the past, from the author of the international bestseller The Rosie Project.

On the cusp of fifty, Adam Sharp has a loyal partner, earns a good income as an IT contractor and is the music-trivia expert at quiz nights. It’s the lifestyle he wanted, but something’s missing.

Two decades ago, on the other side of the world, his part-time piano playing led him into a passionate relationship with Angelina Brown, who’d abandoned law studies to pursue her acting dream. She gave Adam a chance to make it something more than an affair—but he didn’t take it. And now he can’t shake off his nostalgia for what might have been.

Then, out of nowhere, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously? How far will he go for a second chance?

My review:

Graeme Simsion, the author best known for The Rosie Project is back with a bang with his new novel, The Best of Adam Sharp. This novel is a significant shift away from the comedic Rosie series, taking a darker and deeper emotional look at the idea of rediscovering a lost love.

Adam Sharp is the main protagonist of Simsion’s latest book. He is a forty something IT developer by day and by night he loves pub trivia. He also enjoys indulging in his other life passion, the piano. Adam has been in a long term relationship with Claire, a software specialist. The two have never married, nor do they have children. When Adam receives an email out of the blue from Angelina, a woman he had a relationship with 22 years earlier, he takes a chance and tries to rekindle his love with Angelina.

I consider myself a fan of Graeme Simsion’s writing. I was first introduced to this talented author when I read The Rosie Project for my book club a few years back. It was one of the few books I believe our club all enjoyed, which rarely happens! This is perhaps reflective of Simsion’s talent in the Australian contemporary fiction field. The Best of Adam Sharp in my opinion is brilliant and although Adam is so very different to Don Tillman of The Rosie Project, he was still a highly likeable character, with shortcomings just like Don. Adam is a character I connected with despite being a female reader. His story could be anyone’s story frankly and that is what makes this novel so readable. I really did enjoy exploring the concept of reigniting a relationship from the past. Simsion examines the practicalities and roller coaster of emotions attached to engaging in such a situation. The book is also filled with the things Simsion knows and loves, from fine food, wine and great music. Readers will find this a feast for the all the senses. If you are a music fan, this book will be sure to capture your attention. An eclectic playlist, reflecting the mood of many scenes of the novel, is included in the back of the novel. It certainly adds another dimension to this stellar novel. The Best of Adam Sharp was a read in one session book, which I would thoroughly recommend if you are able to so. The ending was poignant, yet not completely resolved, which may disappoint some readers but it sat well with this reader. I was lucky to attend an author talk with Simsion, whereby he was asked a question relating to his rather open ending. Simsion responded by stating that readers should look deep into the meaning of the last song featured in the novel. I did that and I am happy with the book’s conclusion.

The Best of Adam Sharp shows Simsion’s depth as a novelist, displaying his craft as a writer to entertain, make us laugh at the unexpected and feel the depth of emotions associated with a risky journey in love. Put this on your playlist if you appreciate a full bodied contemporary fiction novel, with a great musical flavour.

4.5 stars

The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion was published on September 19th 2016 by Text Publishing.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

  1. Great review! When I’m ready to read it I’ll have to remember not to be disappointed by the ending and do as he said and ‘look deep into the meaning of the last song featured in the book.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many thanks Sue, glad you enjoyed reading this review. I’m so glad I saw Graeme in conversation about this book, it really helped bring another layer to this great book. Without listening to him talk about his book I may have been disappointed with the ending!


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