Monday, 18 February 2013

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion started life as a screenplay, the author then created this novel which will be published in the UK by Michael Joseph / Penguin in April 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.

Graeme Simsion is a full-time writer. Previously an IT consultant with an international reputation, he wrote his first book in 1994 - the standard reference on data modelling, now entering its fourth edition - and taught at four Australian universities.  He is married to Anne, a professor of psychiatry who writes erotic fiction.  They have two children.

You can find out more about Graeme Simsion and his writing at his website here.  Text Publishing have an interesting page about The Rosie Project here, where you can find out if you are compatible with Don.  You can follow Graeme Simsion on Twitter here and Don Tillman is also to be found on Twitter here

My thanks go to Real Readers who sent me a pre-publication copy to review.

1 comment:

  1. Loved it! I have never read anything quite like this - a romantic tale from the perspective of a high functioning autistic person. It was hilarious and touching at the same time - and yet I found myself constantly laughing with Don, not at him. Highly recommend.