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text SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-14 11:02
Eine Rosie ist eine Rosie ist eine Rosie.
Der Rosie-Effekt: Noch verrückter nach ihr - Graeme Simsion,Annette Hahn

Blöd nur, wenn man Rosie nicht leiden kann.

Was für eine anstrengende Frau. Total unsympathisch. 

Fazit: Ein Buch zu lesen, in dem einem zu viele Charaktere nicht unbedingt die wärmsten Gefühle entlocken ist schwierig und oft wenig unterhaltsam. Dazu dann noch ein verkitschtes Ende nach einem ansonsten recht neutral gehaltenem Buch - sinnig, da aus der Ich-Perspektive. Dazu passendes Zitat:

"Ich wollte nicht nur Lydia schütteln, sondern die ganze Welt voller Leute, die den Unterschied zwischen der Kontrolle von Gefühlen und ihrem Fehlen nicht begriffen. Die die Unfähigkeit, Gefühle anderer zu erkennen, gleichsetzten mit der Unfähigkeit, eigene Gefühle zu erleben."

Don Tillman, Seite 372f 

Da kann einem dann schon fast übel werden. Warum überhaupt dieser Klischee Mist wir feiern unseren Protagonisten, alle finden ihn super, nur seine eigene Frau nicht. Die dann nach einem weiteren kleinen Klischee Vorfall vor versammelter Mannschaft, final, nach 400 Seiten (!) feststellt, dass sie doch den Mann geheiratet hat, den sie liebt. Überraschung. Ein bisschen Reflexion hätte ihr diese Erkenntnis bestimmt schon früher bescheren können.

 

Kurzum. Ich bin leider parteiisch. Nettes Buch...vielleicht (Obwohl Dons Gedankengänge eine Sperrigkeit besitzen, die bestimmt einen Prosapreis gewinnen würden). Aber diese Menschen! Ätzend!

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review 2017-05-04 22:52
The Best of Adam Sharp
The Best of Adam Sharp - Graeme Simsion

He let her go, twenty years ago but inside she was never far away. For a few months, Adam and Angelina were in love. They were perfect together but the timing for this relationship was just not there. For Adam, this was his first love and it will forever pull at his heart strings.

 

One day out of the blue, he suddenly hears from Angelina and his mind races back to the past to what they once had. Adam begins to wonders why Angelina has unexpectedly called upon him after all these years and he begins to speculate where their future might be headed. I think that Adam has wishful thinking from that first message but it seems that Angelina is either vague with her words or something is up, as the two of them start corresponding quite regularly and I myself, was not too fond of where this was all headed. Adam was willing to give up his life with Claire to get back with Angelina and they hadn’t even see each other yet. After twenty years, he’s willing to waltz right back into Angelina’s life and reclaim her. It was as if he believed they could pick right back up from where they left off, like nothing has changed. I was questioning why possessed Angelina to contact Adam after all this time? Has she become a lonely housewife, is she acting on a sexual whim, these where just a few of the assumptions I gave to Angelina’s, this woman who I thought was up to no good. I am not unusually such a negative person but Angelina herself is married, both Adam and Angelina are successful people and the way she was corresponding with Adam, I just did not feel good about anything. As Adam makes his way to Angelia, their encounter only gets more interesting and surprising the more that I listened to this audio. Who would have thought it would amount to this? I just couldn’t understand why, it was amounting to this? People are funny sometimes.

 

I honestly got tired of listening to Adam’s voice throughout these tapes as he tells this story. I think it was the sound of his voice, the even tone of his speech as he narrated the journey his life but I had to know how things worked out with his first love. I think the novel was a bit long and wordy for what really happened but then again it might have been just listening to Adam's voice that made it seem that way.
I received a copy of this novel from Macmillan Audio in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for my copy.

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review 2017-04-28 02:22
A wonderfully written novel that I have mixed feelings about
The Best of Adam Sharp - Graeme Simsion

If my life prior to February 15, 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. In the middle, it would pick up—better and better— for a few moments foreshadowing something extraordinary. And then: just na-na-na-na, over and over, pleasant enough, but mainly because it evoked what had gone before.


That's the first paragraph, and I'm betting 80% of reviewers will be quoting that -- how can you not? You get a sense of Adam, his musical taste, how much music means to him/the way he thinks -- and you get the novel's mood. In the next few pages, you get an idea what Adam's life is like in February 2012 -- his relationship, his relationship with his mother, the nostalgia (and maybe more) he feels towards a country he lived in while he was young and his first great (greatest?) love.

 

Then we end the introduction with this paragraph that pushes us into the novel:

 

No matter now. I would soon have more immediate matters to occupy my mind. Later that day, as I continued my engagement with the past, scouring the Internet for music trivia in the hope of a moment of appreciation at the pub quiz, a cosmic DJ—perhaps the ghost of my father—would lift the needle on the na-na-na-nas of “Hey Jude,”say, “Nothing new happening here,”and turn it to the flip side.

“Revolution.”

 

On the flip side is an email from The One Who Got Away ("got" isn't necessarily the best term -- "slipped away", "blindly walked away from", "made the greatest mistake of your life with" -- come closer). Angelina was a night-time soap actress that Adam had an affair with while he lived in Australia while working on a contract job in 1989. Over the next couple of chapters Adam reminisces about his time with Angelina -- it's a heckuva love story. It's an even better doomed-love story since we all know it's coming to an end, and he's able to tell it that way.

 

This email is the first communication she's attempted since she informed Adam that she was getting married before he had a chance to come back.

 

We also get a compressed history of Adam and Claire (his might-as-well-be wife), their 15+ year relationship -- the ups, downs, and obvious commitment. Even if the romance is largely gone, there's something strong under-girding their bond. Right? Maybe? Probably? And I do mean compressed -- their decade and change is given less space than the few months Angelina and Adam have. We also see what's going on in the Spring of 2012 with their relationship, and how this new email correspondence fits in with Adam's life.

 

Part II of the book is focused on what happens when Adam and Angelina reconnect in person for a few days months later. Which is really all I can say about that. Well, it takes almost the same amount of space as the first part (ecopy, so I can't do page counts, so these are just estimates) -- so it's obviously a lot more detailed.

 

I loved Part I -- totally. The feel of it, seeing the changes for the better that Adam goes through thanks to the confidence boost that emailing Angelina gives him. Watching his relationship with Claire improve at the same time. All the while enjoying the 1989 story, too, sharing that feeling of nostalgia and more with him. It's just so well done.

But Part II? I had serious problems with. I cannot detail them without ruining the book for you all. But people just don't act the way most (if not all) of our primary characters do here. There are just too many psychological, emotional, spiritual and moral problems with what happens, how people react (both in the heat of the moment and in the cool light of day) -- people, real people, just can't do this and survive in any meaningful fashion.

 

We also do meet Angelina's husband, Charlie, and I have so many conflicting opinions about him -- on the one hand he appears to be good guy, generous, gracious (and other positive adjectives that don't start with "g") . . . but he's dishonest with everyone (possibly including himself), manipulative, cold, calculating . . . I want to state that he's not physically or mentally abusive, because my description of him almost sounds like it. Things would be less murky if he was.

 

Angelina is equally troubling -- both in how she acts toward Charlie, her children and Adam. I'm not incredibly certain that I'm pleased with the way she treats herself (or if she's true to her chosen vocation or character). I can understand a lot of how Adam comports himself, but at some point, I needed him to call the whole thing off (anyone else could've, but it wasn't in their character at the moment).

 

The whole thing at the point became the car wreck you pass by on the Interstate and try to not gawk at.

 

I can't find the exact quotation, but Nora Ephron said something about Sleepless in Seattle not being a love story, but a story about movie love (Rosie O'Donnell's character says something similar in the film). About the only way I can handle huge portions of this book is thinking of it in similar terms -- Part II isn't about actual love, romance/commitment between two human beings -- but it's about love in fiction, romance/commitment between two fictional characters. If I think of Adam and Angelina (and Charlie and Claire) as actual people, I feel a mix of pity and repugnance for all involved (well, no repugnance for one of them, but I'll leave it at that) -- along with a strong desire to get a pastor and/or psychologist to their doorsteps. But if I think of them as fictional characters -- which, I guess is what they are, as much as one doesn't like to admit that -- I can feel that revulsion and sympathy and just hope that they're able to have decent lives.

 

But the writing? Simsion's craft here is what kept me going through my distaste -- and what's going to compel me to give it a higher rating than I initially thought I would. Everything I thought/hoped he was capable of after The Rosie Project is on full display here -- and, honestly, Adam Sharp is probably a better novel than it's predecessors. Yes, there are comic moments, but this isn't as funny as the Rosie books, so don't look for a similar experience. But the emotional palate is richer, more varied -- deeper.

 

The use of music throughout -- as Adam's refuge and outlet, the way that he bonds with people, and the songs used for various purposes -- is just dynamite. Well, almost dynamite -- Cher's "Walking in Memphis" rather than Marc Cohn's? Really? (both in the playlist and novel) One of the problems with musicians in novels who write their own material (Alex Bledsoe's Tufa, Andy Abramowitz's Tremble, Hornby's Tucker Crowe, etc.) who use other's songs, is that you have to imagine the music, imagine the skill, imagine the feeling. But with Adam (or Doyle's The Commitments) you can take a shortcut through that and know exactly what feelings, sounds, rhythms, and so on are to be conjured up (Simsion gives us the exact album version sometimes so we can't get it wrong). I'm sure there are articles to be written about the music here and how it serves, propels, shapes the plot -- but I don't have that kind of time.

 

Oh, I can't forget to mention -- the official playlist for this is killer. I wish I'd have had an Internet connection available while I was reading it, I'm sure it'd have been a bonus. It's definitely helping while I write -- but there's some good stuff there for just good listening.

 

I was genuinely excited to read this book -- while I wasn't especially taken with The Rosie Effect, I loved The Rosie Project -- I'm pretty sure it made my Top 10 that year, and I recommended it to everyone I could think of online and in person. So when a new book by Simsion was announced -- and not another Rosie book -- I preordered it, and jumped on the opportunity when I saw it on NetGalley. And then that Introduction hooked me hard. Part I was wonderful. But man . . . I just couldn't handle Part II. Which leaves me in a pickle when it comes to this post, you know?

 

I admired this book more than I enjoyed it -- though I need to stress I really enjoyed parts of it. I'd love to heartily recommend this, I wish I could -- but I can only do so with reservations. There's so much I object to going on in these pages that I can't, while I can respect Simsion's work -- and I know this book achieved everything he wanted. I'll give it 4 Stars on merit, not my own enjoyment.

 

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley in exchange for this post -- thanks to both for this.
N.B.: As this was an ARC, any quotations above may be changed in the published work -- I will endeavor to verify them as soon as possible.

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review 2017-04-26 16:31
The Best of Adam Sharp - Graeme Simsion

I tried to read Graeme Simsion's first book, The Rosie Project, I just could not get into it. So when this one came out, I thought I would give it a chance. While I did finish the whole book this time, I have to say that this one I did not really care for.

I think the hardest part for me, what was done in regards to the premise. I know in the blurb they say that Adam thinks about Angela all the time and that they do get back in touch. Actually, I did not need the details, especially the details that are written in this book.

Yes this book made me feel an emotion and it was disgust regarding the characters and their exploits in their later life. I also felt sad, very sad for them. I suppose that is, as I usually say, a good thing when a book makes you feel something. I guess I should consider all emotions and not just the good ones. However, this was an okay read after all, I did get through it. I guess Graeme Simsion and me are not quite such a great fit. I did get to see what all the buzz was about.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for allowing me to read and review this book.

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text 2017-04-01 20:03
The Rosie Effect: by Graeme Simsion $1,99
The Rosie Effect: A Novel - Graeme Simsion

Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he’s left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie.

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