Title: The Rosie Project
Author: Graeme Simsion
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Goodreads Synopsis: An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.
Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.
Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.
The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.
The Review Project:
Not enough people have read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.
If I review The Rosie Project on this blog for my followers, that will increase their desire to read this novel in the future.
→ The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
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▧ Subject 1 : Don Tillman, narrator.
Gender : Male
Age : 39
Occupation : Associate Professor of genetics at the University of Melbourne
Notable Qualities : Black-Belt in Aikido, suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome (unbeknownst to Don, who thinks there is something missing that leaves him baffled by human behavior and unappealing to other people.)
Relationship status : On the prowl. After realizing that many women are incompatible with his personality and over-organized way of living, Don decides to make a 16 page questionnaire to find himself the perfect wife, A.K.A. “The Wife Project.” (Something that has ACTUALLY HAPPENED, to Amy Webb who found her husband by using math and analytics to narrow the dating field.)
▧ Subject 2 : Rosie Jarman, unsuitable for “The Wife Project”
Gender : Female
Age : 29
Occupation : Barmaid, Student
Notable Qualities : Smart, stong-minded, vegetarian, trying to find her own special person (her biological father). Rosie is an utterly likeable female lead who brings the unexpected to Don’s life. She shatters his (many) personal beliefs, disrupts his routinized life in a big way, and causes him (and the reader) to fall in love with her. However, she is far from the Manic Pixie Dream girl. She doesn’t want to fix Don, she has her own problems and failings that she is focused on. She is unapologetically herself, and one of the best supporting contemporary heroines I have read in a while.
➊ The Wife Project is portrayed as an extremely sexist way to find a wife, which put me off at first… but this fault is addressed and worked through with character development. Don’s character progresses so much throughout the novel. When we meet Don, he lives a solitary life of meticulous routine. Because he is different and sees the world in a different way, albeit in a way devoid of emotion, he has been ostracized from his peers. His rigid lifestyle has led him to ostracize others in the same way, if they do not make his standards then they are eliminated as potential relationships. Throughout the course of the novel he learns to accept others for who they are, and accept himself for who he is.
➋ The author perfectly captures Don’s voice, which is the strongest part of the novel in my opinion. I found it to be incredibly accurate to the way people with Asperger’s Syndrome think and speak in the real world, and it certainly explores the complex issues they face in a light-hearted way.
➌ Don’s inability to recognize social cues leads to some hilarious hi-jinks and misunderstandings that left me laughing out loud.
“I turned to see him – he was large and angry. In order to prevent further violence, I was forced to sit on him.
‘Get the fuck off me. I’ll fucking kill you,’ he said.
On that basis, it seemed illogical to grant his request.”
Conclusion: Why should you read this book?
Don is an awkward, but adorable character whose desire to fit in and find love is moving in more ways than one. Honestly, if I haven’t given you enough incentive already, I’ll leave you with this. If you love The Big Bang Theory, you’ll love this book… And if you don’t love The Big Bang Theory, you’ll still love this book. (I know, because I fit into the latter category.)