the best of adam sparks – booksparks src2017

The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion Book Review

Out of 10

The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion Book Review


IT consultant Adam Sharp is content. He has a wonderful partner of 20 years, a successful career, and is the music expert at his local pub’s weekly trivia night. His glory days of piano playing and romanticizing song lyrics are over and done with. Or so he thought.

An old flame from his youth suddenly gets in touch after over 20 years of silence. They both had a chance to commit all those years ago, but neither of them took it. What could she possibly want after all this time?

Angelina’s emails grow more and more flirtatious, throwing a wrench into Adam’s otherwise happy life.  Adam Sharp is unable to resist her lure and agrees to take a week-long vacation with Angelina and her husband. How much does her husband know about their relationship? What does Angelina stand to gain from getting back in contact with Adam? Is a long forgotten romantic flame worth rekindling, even at the sacrifice of all he has held dear for the last 20 years?

With many nods to famous songs and lyrics The Rosie Project author Graeme Simsion explores the power of nostalgia over logic and the ill-fated consequences of giving in to over-idealized notions. The reader must painfully watch Adam learn life lessons he should have realized as a young-adult, laying witness to an uncomfortable mid-life crisis.


At first, I was excited at the prospect of this musical book. I even went through the trouble of creating an Amazon Music playlist from the listing in the back of the novel.

I enjoyed the playlist, but not all the musical references made sense. Unless you happen to be extremely familiar with the vast majority of the mentioned song lyrics. This was an interesting, almost experimental, aspect of the novel. Perhaps it didn’t have the effect the author wanted.  Months from now, I will still be trying to break the association between this mediocre book and some of my favorite songs.

At one instance, the novel states the extent to which love songs have brainwashed Adam. They have caused him to have unrealistic views on love and make him irresistible to the dangerous pull of lost romance.

Instead of appreciating the wonderful life he already has, Adam grants indulgence to romantic fantasies and idealized notions from a brief affair that occurred over 20 years ago. While the book is littered with the occasional insightful paragraph, the book largely left me wondering: what’s your point? I saw only characters who made self-destructive decisions. Decisions I’m shocked any 50-year-old would still be immature enough to make.

I felt a lot dissatisfaction towards Angelina and Adam, finding their actions immature, frustrating, and near torturous to watch unfold. If Adam had simply ignored the email from Angelina he could have continued his life happy and uninterrupted. It’s hard to buy in to the idea of two middle aged people making such irrational decisions. This plotline is senseless. Who is the novel for? What is Simsion’s target audience? Will that audience even like this? I couldn’t tell you.

What would you change?

There are some things I wish I could unread. Awkward sex scenes are at the top of that list. The Best of Adam Sharp has one in particular that is so strange, out of context, and entirely random that I would have gladly ripped those pages out of the book.

Would you recommend this and to whom?

Readers of contemporary fiction may find this book enjoyable enough, but I doubt the plotline will satisfy. Many reviewers have discussed how different this work is from Simsion’s previous four-star rated fiction series, The Rosie Project. However, you’ll find 3-star ratings at the time of this posting abound on both Amazon and GoodReads for this, his disappointing most recent work.


The occasional insightful paragraph and approachable writing style can’t make up for a weak plot and immature characters. The Best of Adam Sharp isn’t the best of anything. Skip this one – or if you’re still intrigued: borrow, don’t buy.

Verdict: Skip It
LENGTH: 320 Pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press – May 2, 2017

I hope you’ve enjoyed this The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion book review. Keep scrolling for a rating breakdown and pro/con list.

His glory days of piano playing and romanticizing song lyrics are over and done with. Or so he thought.

Good Things

  • Approachable writing style
  • Some insightful quotes

Bad Things

  • Senseless plotline
  • Failed attempt at musical references
  • Annoying characters
  • Irrational decision-making

The Breakdown

Writing Style

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