Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

The Best of Adam Sharp is not the best of Graeme Simsion. Readers longing for the charm and humor of The Rosie Project will find an entirely different novel in Adam Sharp. In his twenties, Adam, an itinerant IT expert, travels from England to Australia for an assignment. While there he meets Angelina in a pub where he plays piano in his spare time. He falls in love with Angelina, a TV soap opera star, while being sure that she’s too good for him. They share a love of music and the best of this novel is its use of songs as the playlist for their lives. 

Adam moves on to another assignment, returns to England and marries Claire. They’ve been content for more than twenty years but their marriage has hit a rough patch and they rarely share their bedroom anymore. Claire’s involved in a business deal that may entail a move to the U.S. and both she and Adam don’t believe that he’d follow her. Thus, when Adam receives an email from Angelina, he’s open to her entreaties and their internet flirting escalates. 

The first section of the book when Adam and Angelina’s romance blossoms in Australia is a harmless “chick-lit” of a tale with the musical playlist making it more than the sum of its parts. The second section changes tone so dramatically that it feels as if the reader has entered a different novel. When Adam heads to France to meet Angelina and her long-time husband Charlie at their vacation home in the country, the novel takes an ominous turn. Successful Charlie seems affable and welcoming yet his actions hint at the Machiavellian. While Adam and Angelina renew their romance, the reader is left wondering which one of the three will be hurt or if all are victims.

The plausible ending almost makes up for the unruly second half of the novel and the playlists and a strange musical trivia contest add spice to the book, but The Best of Adam Sharp doesn’t work. Reading the playlists and singing along with the songs Adam Sharp plays is enjoyable, yet the novel is more of a flat than a sharp. 

Summing it Up: Reread The Rosie Project or turn to the back of The Best of Adam Sharp and stroll down memory lane via the novel’s fabulous playlist but skip the novel itself. It’s a slog.

Rating: 2 stars   
Category: Fiction, Overcooked
Publication date: May 2, 2017
Author Website:
What Others are Saying:


  1. Thank you for steering us in the right direction.

  2. Thank you, when a book veers far from the author's well-loved debut, I like to know.