My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars
Watch what you wish for. Like ‘I wish Graeme Simsion, author of my beloved Rosie Project and it’s equally delightful sequel, would write another book, or, in the case of Adam Sharp, reconnecting with the woman he had a three-month affair with twenty-two years ago and never let himself get over. I want to be able to say that Simsion’s third novel (the first not part of the Don Tillman series) had some redeeming quality but for the life of me, I cannot come up with anything. I did worry for a while that I was comparing The Best of Adam Sharp to the Don Tillman books and that my enjoyment suffered because of that. But no. I just hated it.
I think the novel’s main weakness lies in its main character, Adam Sharp. Aside from his almost encyclopedic knowledge of music from his father’s generation, Adam is boring, completely average, and mostly unmemorable. Until he becomes totally unlikable. He utterly lacks character except that he is selfish and awfully self-centered for a guy with no real character. Worst of all, he does not change. In the 22 years between their affair and reconnecting with Angelina, he doesn’t evolve. We are let to believe that he changes his self-serving ways by the end but he’s 49 years old and completely wishy-washy so I found that really difficult to believe.
Much like the story of how he reconnects with his “lost love” (a love he was too selfish and characterless to keep in the first place!). While reading, I felt as if Simsion had just written this novel as an excuse to live out some male fantasy – average schmoe meets a beautiful, fragile, actress who somehow falls in love with him, he gets to the sexual teacher in her relationship and discover her fetish fantasy, 22 years later when they’re both with other people they reconnect and end up part of some perverse, three-person game that just happens to involve life-altering sex all sanctioned by her husband. I honestly kept expecting him to wake up from what was surely a dream. The best thing about the novel was the music. The one thing I did like was the playlist at the end.
I recommend reading The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect and just skipping this one altogether.