jueves, 4 de mayo de 2017

The Best of Adam Sharp - My Personal Review

Third novel from Graeme Simsion. First he wrote The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. Both sublime. So this is how I started the book: with this soaring expectations that the previous novels left on me, not ready to let Don and Rosie story go yet and not sure I was prepared for a drama approach in my next reading.

But I went into the bookstore -La Casa del Libro-, I saw the book right away and while browsing through it I thought: "it's not expensive (15€) and it also looks like easy reading despite its 420 pages". So I made up my mind and I finally bought it.

The novel is about love, lost love, growing up and the difficulty of coming to terms with the past, second chances, feelings, relationships, mistakes, good wine, good sex and music. Great music! The story of Don and Rosie set a high bar but this one is intense, full of emotions and, as the previous ones, it has the ability of keeping you hooked on the argument. You are reading it and you're all the time wanting to know what's going to happen next. I couldn't put the book down!

In the first part of the book we know about Adam Sharp, a middle-aged IT consultant who likes music and playing the piano, and also about Adam's past love story with Agelina Brown, a famous Australian actress, when they were both in their twenties. At the same time, the narration comes to the present to tell us about his current life with Claire, his wife since twenty years ago. So the writer makes us go to the past and combines that with coming back to the present in order that we can be aware of the whole situation in Adam's life.

First 35 pages left me a bit confused. It was like "OMG, am I reading The Best of Adam Sharp or The Fifty Shadows of Adam Sharp?" There is this episode, when we know about how Adam and Angelina met, which we could call the "doing it against the door" episode. It left me thunderstruck but I loved it, I must admit. It was so well described, even with the irony, funny tone and brainy sense of humor I had already tasted in the other novels: you won't believe the amazing and wonderful things that can happen to you against the door before Joe Cocker finishes giving instructions in his "You can leave your hat on". Kind of this. But it was totally unexpected and it was like "From the same author who wrote a book called Data Modeling Essentials and then wrote the tender, delicated and romantic story of Don Tillman?? Really?". That was a great start.

Then it comes the sadness. Angelina and Adam split up. You realize the stupidity of human being has no limits and how it can radically change the direction of your life. He doesn't say the words he is supposed to say in her criteria in the key moment. And the same for him. He doesn't hear from her what he was expecting to hear, exactly with the words he was expecting. And they loved each other, they wanted to go on a relationship for the rest of their lives. But those words that did not come out for whatever reason at that moment: they were shocked, they didn't think about them ... And there are not going to be more moments because from then on, their thoughts will only justify "this is not what she/he wanted", otherwise she/he would have done this or that". So those no-words not said in that unique moment will change the course of their lives forever.

In the second part of the book, Adam and Angelina start getting in touch by email and finally decide to meet again after 20 years without seeing each other. The meeting takes place under some particular circumstances. I'll summarize them in three words: UFF, OMG and WOW. I know this is not giving many hints in here, so I'll just give a piece of advice: read it. You won't regret. Funny that just came to my mind the song No regrets by Edith Piaf, one of the songs in the book. I predict this is going to happen to me more often from now on. Just for mentioning the word regret! A word. A single word. Yeah ... Ready to see how a one-word email, for instance, or a slip of tongue or a cosmic ghost fliping the record over can change a whole life in an instant? Then go for the story!

There is a funny moment in the book for marketing people. And it's when the NPS turns up to score how good performs someone at bed. I've been working for years with the Net Promoter Score and I had never thought of it. It made me laugh quite a bit.

And one last thing. I love the way the author writes. But I also loved feeling like I was watching the movie while reading. This happenned to me in the three novels. And it was great. Moreover, you also feel like you are one more in the scene, there, participating. Well, participating ... in all episodes but the "three laying down on the carpet" one. In that one I prefered to stay in the sofa, looking at the scene from the distance rather than "participating" hahaha. I encourage you to read the book and then you come back and tell me if you felt the same way :)

So now what? This is exactly how I'm feeling after finishing the book yesterday. What am I gonna read now? After these three amazing stories? For those of you who have frantically fallen into Graeme Simsion's universe, good news: 1) A new book released in October 2017 (in Australia, though) titled "Two Steps Forward", written with his partner Anne Buist and 2) He has confirmed he is already working on a Rosie 3 😊

If you liked the post you might also like reading my personal review for The Rosie Project.