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The Rosie Project: A Novel Paperback – June 3, 2014
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Quote: “How can you tell if someone is a vegan? Just wait ten minutes and they’ll tell you.”
I found The Rosie Project hilarious. It reminded me of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, since the protagonist also has Asperger's Syndrome.
I did not have so much fun reading a book since I read The Wanton Life of My Friend Dave by Tristan Wood.
When I read the book synopsis I was under the impression that the book involved robots (I tend to have weird synapses, what can I say?). It turned out that it didn’t, though you could still maintain that impression if you just focus on Don Tillman’s social skills and interactions. He’s level of sociability is Tarzan (yeah, the “me Tarzan, you Jane” kind of style).
What makes this book interesting is the main character Don Tillman, otherwise it would be just a plain romantic comedy. He his brutally honest (though he improves his deception abilities as the book progresses and he gains… well, humanity) and very efficient. His life is all scheduled and he hasn’t got a drop of spontaneity in his body. Well, at least until Rosie shows up in his life--of course the storyline is predictable! But it isn’t less fun for that!--and turns it upside down. The thing is that it’s all of Don’s predictability, with his schedules and timed tasks, that makes him unpredictable and, to me, that’s where the originality of this story lies.
Another thing that I liked very much in this book is the enormous amount of information that it delivers. You learn a lot of things by reading this book. It’s full of useful information and interesting facts that are very well displayed and used to build the main character’s personality.
I read in several reviews that this was chick lit, but I do not agree. I think this is the kind of book that both men and women would enjoy reading. This is a light romantic comedy. It’s fun, well structured, and well written. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good laugh and something different and original.
As others have noted, the story was originally a screenplay so the novel is well paced and easy to read. On one level, it is a straightforward boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy recovers girl and lives happily ever after tale. But it is really much deeper than that. The protagonist is different from the norm (in the extreme) but over time he is able to recognize if not fully compensate for his inter-personal quirks. Further, he is not a one dimensional character - he is a propeller head and social misfit who bases his life around logic and believes in book learning more than life experience, but he is adept at martial arts and cooking as well as bearing a resemblance to Gregory Peck (at least in the eyes of one person). The heroine is also very relatable. As the couple work on “the project” the ups and downs of their relationship are believable and some very funny events take place.
I highly recommend this book. As another review noted, the book reads like a screenplay waiting to be made into a film (which is apparently happening). The obvious question is who would play the leads. A quick search showed Ryan Reynolds may be up for the male lead (which could work) while Jennifer Lawrence has backed out from the female lead (which is a good move as I do not see her as working for that role). Maybe Noah Taylor and Margot Robbie? I hope they keep it based in Melbourne and do not Americanize it as I think the story will suffer given that part of it takes place in NYC (just my two cents to the producers).
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