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The Rosie Project: A Novel Paperback – June 3, 2014

8,932 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Don Tillman Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2013: Full of heart and humor, Simsion’s debut novel about a fussy, socially-challenged man’s search for the perfect wife is smart, breezy, quirky, and fun. Sure, it’s the precise equivalent of a well-crafted romantic comedy. (In fact, the book was clearly written with the big-screen in mind, and the film rights have already been sold). But you’d have to be a pretty cynical reader not to fall for Don Tillman, a handsome genetics professor who has crafted a pathologically micromanaged life for himself but can’t seem to score a second date. After launching his Wife Project, which includes a hilarious questionnaire intended to weed out imperfect candidates--smokers, makeup wearers, vegans (“incredibly annoying”)--Don meets Rosie, a stunning, maddeningly disorganized bartender/student who’s looking for her biological father. The reader knows just where the story is headed: Rosie’s so wrong for Don, she’s perfect. That’s not giving anything away. Half the fun of the book is watching pent-up, Asperger’s-afflicted Don break free, thanks to Rosie, from his precisely controlled, annoyingly sensible, and largely humorless lifestyle. By the final third, you’re cheering for Don to shatter all his rules. And you’re casting the film. --Neal Thompson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Genetics professor Don Tillman’s ordered, predictable life is thrown into chaos when love enters the equation in this immensely enjoyable novel. Never good with social cues, Don explains his difficulty empathizing with others, which he forthrightly says is a defining symptom of the autism spectrum, as a result of his brain simply being wired differently. Diagnosis is not the issue here, as the reader is rooting for Don as he searches for ways to fit in. With his fortieth birthday approaching, he designs a questionnaire to find a compatible female life partner using his overriding devotion to logic. But he finds his quest competing with the request of a woman to discover the identity of her biological father. The protagonist is passingly similar to that of Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003), but Simsion’s first novel is not as dark, focusing instead on the humor and significance of what makes us human. Don is used to causing amusement or consternation in others, but as his self-awareness and understanding grow, so do his efforts to behave more appropriately. Determined and unintentionally sweet, Don embarks on an optimistic and redemptive journey. Funny, touching, and hard to put down, The Rosie Project is certain to entertain even as readers delve into deep themes. For a book about a logic-based quest for love, it has a lot of heart. --Bridget Thoreson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 295 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476729093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476729091
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8,932 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,079 of 1,119 people found the following review helpful By Maine Colonial TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Given how many reviews there are already on this book, I think I'll just focus on giving the potential reader some ideas about how to decide whether he or she will like the book. How about a flowchart approach?

Do you DISlike the way the Sheldon character on the TV show Big Bang Theory is written? If YES, then STOP. You will probably not like the book. If NO (i.e., you like the Sheldon character), then continue.

Do you have strong opinions about how a character with Asperger's should behave? If YES, then STOP. I've read some reviews by people who felt that the protagonist, Don Tillman, is unbelievable because he does things and responds to things in ways that someone with Asperger's wouldn't do. (I don't want to say what those things are, because it could be spoiler-y.) If NO, then continue.

(I do want to note that it's never stated explicitly that Don has Asperger's. Certainly he is lacking in social skills, has everything in his life organized and analyzed for maximum efficiency, and emotions are troublesome for him. But I don't think there is some kind of pattern book that people with Asperger's have to follow. I just looked at Don as an individual, and went with the flow of the book.)

Do you enjoy quirky, whimsical humor and romantic comedy? If NO, then STOP. If yes, then continue to the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon's product page, go to Chapter 2 and read the description of Don's talk "Genetic Precursors to Autism Spectrum Disorders." Just that couple of pages should tell you all you need to know, finally, about whether this will be a good reading choice for you.

I got a big kick out of the book. It's just a bouncy, character-driven story, and a feel-good romantic comedy. But NOT chick lit; my husband thought it was one of the most entertaining books he's read in quite awhile.
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403 of 430 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Peter R. Best on February 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Give myself 5 minutes to write review, not a common task in my schedule.
Scientists meet in Australia and blossom in New York; sounds familiar.
Six years in the making and every minute worthwhile.
Read post-op and stitches still in place, but just.
More twists than a good murder story, more laughs and resonating chuckles than any recent film, more food for thought than eat, pray, love etc.
Unlikely premise for a long book, but wish it was much longer.
Will share with my friend, lend to my therapist, all in one go.
Minimalist text works well for Graeme, will need to attend his workshop.
Five minutes over; must improve typing skills before doing this again.

The first two reviews here say it well. This is a wonderful book that is easy to read out loud. The characters stay with you for a long time after putting the book down. It is great on a second read, as there are so many clever innovations in the plot and text.

But most of all, the main characters are delightful, the pace is just right and there is much that I learnt about genetics and myself along the way. Have no doubt, most will enjoy this book and, I suspect, slip it to that son who sometimes despairs of the best way to find a lifelong partner.

Little wonder that the book won a major prize in Victoria for the best unpublished manuscript in 2012.

As a forecaster, I would invest in the stocks of Text Publishing who are translating the book into 30 languages. The book has universal appeal.

Total 12 minutes - will have to adjust tomorrow's schedule to make up. Please empathise with me!
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312 of 346 people found the following review helpful By Cloggie Downunder on January 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The Rosie Project is the first novel by Australian author and playwright, Graeme Simsion. Professor Don Tillman is unmarried, and a consideration of the statistics leads him to conclude he needs a wife. While Don's physical attributes and career should make him an attractive prospective husband, his social ineptitude has resulted in a track record of unsatisfactory dating experiences, the Apricot Ice Cream Disaster and the Pig Trotter Disaster being just two examples. He therefore decides to vet applicants for his Wife Project with a 16-page (double-sided) questionnaire, in the interests of efficiency. When Rosie Jarman sweeps into his life, Don quickly concludes that this smoking, swearing barmaid with punctuality problems is entirely unsuitable, yet, against all his rational instincts, he decides to offer his expertise in genetics in the search for her father. Soon his regimented, logical life is turned upside down: Don learns the danger inherent in judging a person by their occupation, and that not everything in life follows a formula.
Simsion has created a very funny novel which also has the reader thinking about emotion and logic, love and friendship, conventionality and non-conformists, and what it takes to modify one's behaviour. This is a fast-paced love story with an interesting twist. Simsion's characters have plenty of depth and the fact that none of them is perfect adds to their appeal. While Don may be wired differently (mentally assessing the age and BMI of everyone he meets, reacting to stress with a spreadsheet or a schedule), he has integrity, focus, enthusiasm and determination, and it is impossible not to feel empathy with him even while laughing at his missteps. And impossible not to shed a tear when he suspects he is incapable of love and therefore unacceptable.
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