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The Rosie Project: A Novel Hardcover – October 1, 2013
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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
*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
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Top Customer Reviews
I loved this book and I am going to give it 5 stars! It is categorized as a romantic comedy book and it was just that. It wasn’t a super sappy romantic read which I think I really enjoyed. The situations that Don got himself into were just so funny and I laughed out loud many times throughout the novel.
The writer did an awesome job with character development which can kill the book or make the book. It wasn’t draggy, you found out who each character was and how they fit into the story and each one was memorable. My biggest complaint with books is when they mention a character and then later on mention them again and I have to flip back to figure out who the author is talking about and I did not have to do that with this book.
Even though there is a second book in this series it wraps the story up in the first so you really don’t have to read the second if you do not want to. The second book just goes into what happens next in their lives. I will be reading it soon, so keep a look out for “The Rosie Effect” review in the next month or two.
In conclusion, if you love situational comedy in your books and a little bit of a love story this novel is for you!
But I thought Simsion flung us into his ending without first having laid sufficient ground-work for the reader to be with Don in his “Aha!” moment. Instead of delighting that Don had figured out how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, I was left trying to figure out what the heck just happened: what did it mean? what were the clues I missed along the way? I was disappointed in the jarring ending to such an engaging book.
[Because I was our discussion leader for "The Rosie Project," I felt compelled to do the research to fully grasp the implications of the ending and how it explained the several perplexing episodes in the book. Once I had put it all together (The Affair to Hide, The Basement Disclosure, The Wavering Stepfather, The Knock-Down Punch, Keeping Promises), I came to admire the skill with which Simsioin had woven all these threads. He had carefully constructed his humor so we were rolling on the floor laughing – never at Don, but always cheering him on. Hiding within the pages of this comedic romance was a plethera of information about many of the issues facing people with Asperger Syndrome. And, yes, I even found the delight in Don’s solving of the jigsaw puzzle. It just took me far too much work to get to that full understanding. Then again, completing my research might have gone whole lot quicker if I hadn’t had to keep rereading the marvelously hilarious scenes I kept stumbling upon in my search for answers. Now, what the heck was it I came to this chapter to find?… I highly, highly recommend this book.]
Don is a 40 year old man with Asberger's syndrome. He decides he is ready for a wife and goes about finding her using scientific methods. I love that this book does not portray Don as having a disease. Even he realizes that he is wired differently from most everyone else. His attempts to find a wife are hysterical. I found myself agreeing with his intent, if not his methods.
The reader is introduced into the relationship between his only two friends, who are married to each other. Seen through Don's eyes, their marriage is a perfectly acceptable open marriage, when in actuality the relationship is riddled with adultery.
When Don meets Rosie and decides to help her find her biological father, his ordered life is changed forever. Don's journey to become more socially acceptable, while staying true to himself is such a beautiful story.
The story is told from Don's point of view only. I wondered what Rosie's point of view would be like? It was obvious she was hurt by Don, unknown to him, multiple times. What exactly drew her to him?
This book is by turns funny (practicing sex positions with a skeleton?) and heartbreaking (his non relationship with his family and how he is always laughed at). This book is appropriate for a young adult (16+) to adult audience. I am giving this story 5 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thought provoking and genuinely lovely
Look forward to the next one in the seriesRead more