The Best of Adam Sharp
Can you define your life by a single song?
Adam Sharp – former pianist in a hip Melbourne bar, now a respectable IT consultant in Norwich – can. And it’s ‘You’re Going to Lose that Girl’ . . .
On the cusp of fifty and a happy introvert, Adam is content. He’s the music expert at his local pub-quiz and he and his partner Claire rumble along. Life may not be rock n’ roll, but neither is it easy listening. Yet something has always felt off-key.
And that’s his nostalgia for what might have been, his blazing affair – more than twenty years ago, on the other side of the world – with Angelina Brown, a smart and sexy, strong-willed actress who taught him for the first time, as he played piano and she sang, what it meant to find – and then lose – love. How different might his life be if he hadn’t let her walk away?
Then, out of nowhere, Angelina gets in touch. Adam has sung about second chances, but does he have the courage to believe in them?
‘If my life prior to 15 February, 2012 had been a song, it might have been ‘Hey Jude’, a simple piano tune, taking my sad and sorry adolescence and making it better.’
And with this sentence, into the life of Adam Sharp we delve. This is a book with a big heart that explores friendship, love and coming to appreciate life just the way it is.
I won’t compare it to The Rosie Project or The Rosie Effect as they are completely different books with a different set of characters. If you are hoping this will be a follow-on or something similar, it isn’t. But it is a fabulously enjoyably read that will draw you into the musical world of Adam Sharp, an IT consultant in Norwich, who one day receives an email from his Great Lost Love, Angelina Brown.
‘That was it. Hi. After twenty-two years, twenty without any contact at all, out of the blue, Angelina Brown, my Great Lost Love, decides to change the world and writes Hi.’
I really love this sentence. It sticks in your mind and forces you to pause for a moment, I think to fully appreciate it because of how beautifully it portrays the depth of feeling this man has for this woman.
Over twenty years ago, when Angelina – a beautiful actress – walks into a bar in Melbourne to the sound of Adam playing the piano, he doesn’t immediately notice her, but, when she makes her way over, pink cocktail in hand, mascara streaked down her cheek and asks, ‘Do you know “Because The Night”?’ his world is sent tumbling onto a new path. I won’t go into it too much but it is told in two parts, with the younger Adam having his relationship with Angela and the older-Adam reminiscing about those far-gone times.
The Best of Adam Sharp is hugely compelling and entertaining. It’s very witty in some places and also quite touching at certain points. This is a very musical book and I absolutely loved it. The music element was almost like a character for me – sitting side-by-side with Adam and Angelina – Dooglas and Angel. Songs are sprinkled throughout the book, offering a close look into who Adam really is and what music he thinks would ultimately describe specific moments in his life.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The latter part lost me a little bit but overall, this is a very entertaining read. If you’re thinking of buying this, don’t expect The Rosie Project, expect something different but equally as good.
There is also a play list at the back of the book! If you haven’t heard some or any of these songs, they are great, have a listen!
Compelling. Wistful. Musical.
If you would like to buy The Best of Adam Sharp, here is the link
I had the pleasure of meeting Graeme Simsion at Penguin HQ last Tuesday for a Pub Quiz event celebrating the publication of The Best of Adam Sharp. And I’m delighted with my signed copies – thanks, Graeme!
Huge thanks to Graeme and to the people at Penguin for being so lovely and welcoming. It was a wonderful evening! And I’m ecstatic to say that I actually got some of the questions RIGHT! Whoo hoo!
Huge thanks to Laura Nicol for my review copy and for inviting me to the event! Lovely to meet you!