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The Rosie Project: A Novel Paperback – June 3, 2014
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“Sometimes you just need a smart love story that will make anyone, man or woman, laugh out loud.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Move over, Sheldon Cooper. There’s a new brilliant, socially inept scientist poised to win over a huge audience, and his name is Don Tillman, in The Rosie Project. . . . It’s not surprising that debut novelist Graeme Simsion has a background in science—The Rosie Project, already a success in Australia, seems almost precision engineered to keep readers turning pages. But unlike its unexpectedly lovable hero, this rom-com is bursting with warmth, emotional depth, and intentional humor.” (A–)
“It’s natural to be wary of a novel that’s been the target of such gushy praise. Publishers in at least thirty-eight countries have snapped up the rights to The Rosie Project, which has been touted as a ‘publishing phenomenon,’ an ‘international sensation’ and no less than ‘the feel-good hit of 2013.’ Well, squelch your inner cynic: the hype is justified. Australian Graeme Simsion has written a genuinely funny novel. . . . This is classic rom-com.”
—The Washington Post
“Simsion’s attention to detail brings to life Don’s wonderful, weird world. Instead of using Don’s Asperger’s syndrome as a fault, or a lead-in to a tragic turn of events, Simsion creates a heartwarming story of an extraordinary man learning to live in an ordinary world, and to love. As Don would say, this book is ‘great fun.’”
“An utterly winning screwball comedy. . . . If you’re looking for sparkling entertainment along the lines of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and When Harry Met Sally, The Rosie Project is this season’s fix. . . . This charming, warmhearted escapade, which celebrates the havoc—and pleasure—emotions can unleash, offers amusement aplenty. Sharp dialogue, terrific pacing, physical hijinks, slapstick, a couple to root for, and more twists than a pack of Twizzlers—it’s no surprise that The Rosie Project is bound for the big screen. But read it first.”
“Filled with humor and plenty of heart, The Rosie Project is a delightful reminder that all of us, no matter how we’re wired, just want to fit in.”
"Another great favorite: The Rosie Project, a hilarious novel by Graeme Simsion. It’s truly one of the funniest and most poignant novels I’ve read, and when you’ve finished it, there’s an excellent sequel as well."
—Nicholas Kristof, New York Times Newsletter
“The Rosie Project opens as strongly as any comic novel I’ve read in a long time. . . . The book roars at high speed to its conclusion. . . . A highfunctioning but emotionally illiterate guy like Don makes a perfect unreliable narrator. . . . Happily, Simsion doesn’t give Don an unbelievable emotional makeover. Our man just learns to live by a more complicated algorithm.”
“One of the year’s most promising and original novelists.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“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. . . . [an] immensely enjoyable novel.”
—Booklist (starred review)
About the Author
Graeme Simsion is a former IT consultant and the author of two nonfiction books on database design who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn his hand to fiction. His first novel, The Rosie Project, was published in 2013 and translation rights have been sold in over thirty-five languages. Graeme lives in Australia with his wife, Anne, and their two children.
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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.
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).
Don then meets Rosie. A bartender and a student and they embark on a quest to find out who Rosie's real father is -- while getting to know each other.
I read this book in one afternoon. It was mildly entertaining, but that is about it. Probably not going to peruse the sequel. Not exactly chick-lit, but very close.