The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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This book is being discussed in the Literature Group’s Digital Book Club


Now in paperback, the international bestselling romantic comedy “bursting with warmth, emotional depth, and…humor,” (Entertainment Weekly) featuring the oddly charming, socially challenged genetics professor, Don, as he seeks true love.

The art of love is never a science: Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.

Rosie Jarman possesses all these qualities. Don easily disqualifies her as a candidate for The Wife Project (even if she is “quite intelligent for a barmaid”). But Don is intrigued by Rosie’s own quest to identify her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on The Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie―and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.

Arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, Graeme Simsion’s distinctive debut “navigates the choppy waters of adult relationships, both romantic and platonic, with a fresh take (USA TODAY). “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” (Chicago Tribune).


“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.”
“*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.”
“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.”

Get the bestseller now for $8.99 and join the discussion.
This book is being discussed in the Literature Group’s Digital Book Club