928 of 962 people found the following review helpful
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.
367 of 391 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2013
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!
279 of 311 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2013
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. This novel is filled with laugh-out-loud moments: a madcap cocktail party, a dance fiasco and a novel escape from a bathroom, to name just a few. Don's highly embarrassing moment with an instruction book, a skeleton and the University Dean is utterly hilarious. The irony of Don delivering a lecture on Asperger's is quite delicious, and who could guess there would be so many inventive ways to obtain a DNA sample! This is a brilliant debut novel. It is no surprise to learn that it won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript in 2012, and that the rights have been sold to over 30 countries. I look forward to more from Graeme Simsion.
101 of 117 people found the following review helpful
Don Tillman is careening toward his 40th birthday -- and has never managed to have a second date with a woman. The reader quickly realizes just why -- Don (the narrator of the tale) is clearly somewhere along the autism spectrum, functioning very highly indeed in his role as a tenured professor of genetics, but floundering when the human beings around him don't conform to the rules they clearly should follow in order to be rational beings, and instead behave like ... human beings.
At best, this is a mildly amusing if very predictable romantic novel. Don embarks on the Wife Project -- a long questionnaire is involved, designed to weed out those who clearly are unsuitable -- but when the unsuitable Rosie comes along, it is put to one side so that Don can use his genetics prowess to help her with her Father Project. After that, if you've watched a certain number of classic Hollywood romance novels, you have a rough idea of the kind of book you're reading.
That predictability is the reason I couldn't give this a four-star rating. Even the uncomfortable situations in which Don finds himself, time after time, due to his inability to pick up on social cues become less humorous after the first 30 or 40 pages, and by the end of the book even end up feeling tedious. Rosie is a two-dimensional character, perhaps in part because we are seeing her only through Don's eyes and thus don't see the characteristics that we use to develop a sense of someone's personality, either in a novel or real life.
The writing was lively and colorful; the tale is neatly structured and has a good sense of pace. But even though I read (quite happily) a lot of chick lit, there simply wasn't enough substance for me in this novel. As others have noted, it would make a great airplane novel: you could probably abandon it in the seat pocket in front of you at the end of the flight without a moment's regret. I can see the appeal of a light and fluffy novel, but even on that basis, I've read others that appealed to me far more.
93 of 109 people found the following review helpful
Don Tillman is a brilliantly smart man who works at a Melbourne University. He's pretty much only got two friends, Gene and Claudia who are married to each other and both psychologists. They are in an open marriage where Gene has a goal to sleep with a woman from every country on Earth. Don doesn't see anything wrong with this, as he sees the world without the hindrance of requirements to follow social protocol influencing how everyone should behave. Therefore he doesn't believe in marriage, but feels he still would like to find a life partner, he's prepared to get married if that's what his life partner wants, he's flexible on that. However he's certainly not flexible on a lot of other things, as he knows that if he is, the relationship will eventually fail, and Don does everything as efficiently as possible. So he has come up with a scientific questionnaire to be taken by his would be life partners. He has dubbed this endeavour, the Wife Project and is constantly tweaking it after something goes wrong in each date, such as woman believing there is a difference between apricot and peach ice cream. He also has a side project going after he mistakenly believed an attractive woman who visited his office was sent by Gene as a successful applicant for his Wife Project. He can't believe why Gene sent his worst match ever but before he found this out she had asked him as professor of genetics to help her find out who her real father is, the candidates being her now deceased mother's school class. This father project is an interesting challenge for Don to do while his Wife project struggles to find candidates.
Don looks at the world differently to your regular guy. He follows routines, doing things at set times of day, eating specific meals on certain days of the week, chooses the least impact on the environment mode of transport and dresses for the purpose or the conditions while totally ignoring fashion. In fact there's an hilarious piece of dialogue between him and the restaurant greeter about how his expensive hiking type jacket coat is much superior to the type of coat to what they want him to wear under their dress code. He tells us throughout the novel he has misdiagnosed with a number of medical labels, such as Aspergers, Autism, Bipolar and schizophrenia that he knows through his own research are the wrong diagnosis. We in fact never find out why Don is like he is, probably because to him ultimately it doesn't matter. This probably is also a good idea so potential readers who themselves or family members with any of the aforementioned conditions won't be offended by anything Don does and send angry letters to the author. Don just understands his brain works differently to everyone else. The best way to describe Don would be like the character Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, less the superiority to everyone else on the planet complex. He also shows no interest in Star Trek and those sorts of stereotypical nerdy things, in fact he is a master of Aikido and other martial arts, rock climbing and other skills he saw as vital to exceeding in life and that he uses at some stage in this novel, much to our reading enjoyment.
I actually read the paperback version but Amazon doesn't seem to allow reviews of it at the moment so I've had to put this under the Kindle version. Kindle book might possibly have this as well but on the back cover of the physical book there is Rosie Project website where you can take a similar exam to his Wife Project one in the book to see if you're compatible with Don.
The Rosie Project is a situation comedy type book. It is hard to categorise what genre it is, definitely isn't a romance novel, or chick lit. You could call it a mystery as Don has to work out who Rosie's father is. I guess similar authors would be Mike Gayle, Jonathan Tropper, John O'Farrell, but really the The Rosie Project is pretty unique, there's not much point trying to categorise it.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2013
Once I started reading this book I could not put it down and could not read it fast enough. Funny, yet moving at the same time. Lines are laugh out loud funny. I haven't enjoyed a book more in many years - not since 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'. My only complaint - it's the author's 1st book so I don't know how long I will need to wait for his next!! I do not go out of my way to recommend books but I am certainly spreading the word about this one.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2013
The Rosie Project has attracted a host of pre-publication reviews, the majority of them are 5 star and readers have fallen in love with the story of Don and Rosie. Whilst I have to agree that the writing is clever and the story is quirky and unique, I didn't connect with it in the same way as many others.
Don Tillman is a professor of genetics, he's never got past the first date and at age thirty-nine, he requires a wife. The Wife Project is born, Don produces a sixteen-page questionnaire for prospective wives to complete. Rosie Jarman arrives into Don's life around the same time, she has issues with her paternity and between them, Rosie and Don embark on The Father Project - they intend to track down all of the guys who were in Rosie's mother's graduation class and collect their DNA - one of them must be Rosie's father surely?
And so, the reader becomes part of The Wife Project, The Father Project, and Don's own personal Rosie Project. This could prove complicated, but Simsion's writing is sharp and to the point and the story is easily followed.
Although it is never stated in the story, it is clear that Don is Autistic - his day-to-day schedule is rigid and if he has to change even a tiny part of his daily routine he becomes anxious and confused. There is no doubt that this is a very funny book, some of the one-liners and Don's observations of people and place are hilarious, but I felt that at times, these were pretty over-done. Don's vulnerability is exposed and the forced humour at times left me feeling a little uncomfortable.
This is a very quick read, the writing is accessible and the characters are carefully created, at times the story did veer towards the ridiculous, but the saving grace for me was the underlying emotions felt by Don
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2014
I have Asperger's Syndrome like the main character and found the book a delightful read - - a funny, tender romance full of wonderful Aspergian behavioral antidotes I could relate to so well! I must applaud the level of sensitivity and dignity Graeme Simsion brings to the character which enhances the plot delivery and suspense of this well written story. You never know what to expect next from the characters. Laugh out loud funny! And so informative on a range of topics. Here's a book I plan on re-reading again and again!
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2013
Wow. I just loved this book - I haven't a single criticism and there are only a very small handful of novels I can say that about.
The Rosie Project made me smile, made me laugh, made me cry and really made me think. The writing is just so brilliant and the characters so compelling. Intelligent, witty, warm writing. I cannot stop raving about this novel.
The problem now, is how long will I have to wait for another Graeme Simsion book? Encore!
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This is such a unique book, and it presents such an interesting conflict for me as a reviewer. First, what I absolutely loved about it was the narrative. The main character, Professor Don Tillman, has an extremely distinctive voice and way of interacting with the world. His social awkwardness is probably caused by Asperger syndrome, although that's only implied in the book. Still, the narrative form of the novel is amazing: so clever and funny. What bothers me about "The Rosie Project" is the plot itself. It's charming and reads like the script of a clever romantic comedy at first, but kind of fizzles out at the end and turns into a poorly written, quite predictable rom-com. The brilliant narrative just doesn't mesh with what I think is a mediocre story. I really expected more, and it's so strange to come across a book that's so great in one way and so average in another. This is the author's first novel, though, so I am hoping that his next effort will be better.