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Graeme Simsion's Latest Writing Project Isn't So 'Rosie'

Australian writer Graeme Simsion knows his latest novel isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s OK with the conversations that will come out of it.

The Best of Adam Sharp explores subjects from marriage to infidelity to lost love, while working in some classic rock as well.

“One of the questions I was asking was how far will someone go to save a marriage? And I was also asking about the difference between romantic love and what you might call companionate love,” Simsion says.

He says his first novel, The Rosie Project - about an awkward academic's search for love, was quite popular with book clubs, but says The Best of Adam Sharp may elicit conflicting reactions. “I think it will be one of the most divisive books that the book clubs have had," Simsion predicts. "They’ll say some people hated it and some people love it, and to be honest I’m perfectly happy with that.”

Meanwhile, classic rock has both a figurative and a literal place in the story, Simsion says.  Metaphorically, the book has the feel of a record album that shifts its tone from one side to the next.  “It’s part one and part two, so you are warned that it’s like flipping over an LP and there’s a lot of music in the book.”

But classic rock songs are woven throughout the book, whose title character is a piano player.  Many of the songs referenced in the novel hold a special place in one or more of the characters' lives - even if they aren't all necessarily special to Simsion himself.

Coming from a screenwriting background, Simsion made the decision to include a soundtrack throughout the book.  “My plan was to name songs that would be familiar to a lot of people. The way I selected them was, number one: they had to fit the story; they had to be the right song for the right place… what would be playing as the girl walks into the bar? The second thing was familiarity. The third thing was whether I liked them or not.”

He says, “I’d like [readers] to listen to the playlist before or after, but if you really hate that music, just read the book and ignore it.”