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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most enjoyable book of the year
Don is lecturer in genetics at a university in University in Melbourne, Australia. He is single, on the brink of his fortieth birthday and leads a highly systemized life dominated by routines, list, structures and timetables. You can count all his friends on the fingers of one finger, unless you include, Claudia, wife of his friend Gene, lecturer in evolutionary...
Published 11 months ago by Kartowidjojo

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tiresome
I really didn't enjoy this book. I bought it based on the reviews it was getting.. and I'm baffled to be honest. It was well written but the main character is like a robot (not like an aspie) I kept reading, thinking it would get better. And it didn't. Would not recommend.
Published 12 days ago by Niamh Nolan


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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most enjoyable book of the year, 4 May 2013
This review is from: The Rosie Project (Hardcover)
Don is lecturer in genetics at a university in University in Melbourne, Australia. He is single, on the brink of his fortieth birthday and leads a highly systemized life dominated by routines, list, structures and timetables. You can count all his friends on the fingers of one finger, unless you include, Claudia, wife of his friend Gene, lecturer in evolutionary psychology. Claudia, a psychologist herself, is Don's ad hoc therapist. The story begins with Don substituting for Gene to deliver a lecture on Asperger's to facilitate Gene latest endeavor in philandering. Gene is attempting to `collect' a woman from ever country in the world. It is clear, though not to Don, that he has much in common with the subjects of his lecture.

It has reached Don's attention that married men are happier and live longer. It is therefore logical that he should become married. To that end he formulates a state-of-the-art questionnaire and engages in some dating activities, which he sees mainly as opportunities to collect data via the questionnaire. The questionnaire proves useless and Gene acquires the completed scripts in order to make use of the geographical data they contain. At the same time, Gene sets Don up with Rosie, one of his PhD students.

Rosie is completely unsuitable, naturally, but as soon as she appears on the scene, the course of the rest of the book is clear to the readers.

THE ROSIE PROJECT is the most enjoyable read I have had for a very long time. Obviously, one can debate how good a book is, but there is no real debate about emotional response. I loved it from first to last. I laughed, I cried. I got out of bed at 3am to read more.

The voice is first person from Don's crippling matter-of-fact Aspergers point of view. As a picture of autism, this is every bit as good as Dustin Hoffman in RAINMAN. Don is a superb character, an absolutely faultless creation. The gimmick of using the voice of a misfit almost always fails, but when gimmicks work (LIFE OF PI, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT...) they turn clichés into art. THE CURIOUS INCIDENT can be seen as children's book at some levels. ROSIE is 100% grown-up.

If you strip Don's issues out of the story, then it is not worth telling, and that is the point. The plot must be banal, because it is exactly that - the ordinary, predictable vagaries of social interactions - that cause Don his problems. Complexity and confusion are redundant in Don's life.

Don's gradual crack-up and the comedy set-pieces are all very well executed. A love story like this must have a heartbreaking climax and it is indeed very sad to watch everything fall apart before it gets put together again. The background of academia is just as well done as anything in David Lodge, really. The `facts' about genetics and social interactions are very satisfying.

Rosie is written more or less as a romantic comedy movie, but it is more or less impossible to see how it could be made into a movie, because the book is very subtle indeed. As a movie it would become terribly gauche.

I know nothing about the author, but it is really hard to imagine that this is a first novel. Likewise, it's hard to work out where he might go next. One feels that one is in expert company, probably that of a Melbourne academic.

Having enjoyed the book so much, I'm slightly worried that I might have `misjudged' it somewhat, whatever that means. It could easily provoke a `so what' response in some. I'd like to think that my emotional response demands that the work be `quality'. I could talk about it for hours.
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74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Don Tillman, 8 May 2013
By 
Janie U (Kings Cliffe, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Rosie Project (Hardcover)
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Don Tillman is a professor of genetics. He narrates this story in which his main focus is to find a perfect wife.
It soon becomes apparent that Don is fairly well advanced on the aspergers scale - he struggles with social interaction, has to plan his life to the last minute, is not flexible and is well above average intelligence.
At first his thoughts are quite strange but quickly be becomes very endearing and I found myself chuckling at his analyses of his various projects. He thinks differently from most people which comes across in every thought that goes through his head.
It would be easy to ridicule him but this author manages to make Don funny without ever making him an object of fun.
Overall you get a book with a neat and tidy plot of which I think Don would approve.
Great to read something a bit different.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!!, 14 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Rosie Project (Kindle Edition)
this is one of the best books I have ever read. refreshingly different, it is totally believable and I couldn't put it down. I am so sad now that I've finished it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic summer read, 2 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Rosie Project (Kindle Edition)
Made me laugh out loud. Great observations about life. a love story with a difference. I will be recommending it to all my friends.
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am in love with Don Tillman. An absolute joy of a book., 13 May 2013
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Rosie Project (Hardcover)
I was around two pages in when I realised I was falling in love with the main character. Not many books make you feel from the first chapter that you never want the book to end; that the journey you're starting with a character is going to be a complete joy. By page three, I was already casting the film roles in my head.

I've read several books very recently with highly intelligent but socially awkward male narrators. This is definitely a class above. Don is a fully-formed, routine-driven, social misfit. He's frustrating, maddening but completely adorable.

Don may be the awkward (genetics) Professor but he is also lonely, and so he designs a 'foolproof' questionnaire to weed out unsuitable women as part of his Wife Project. No woman who doesn't fit the criteria can be considered. You may think you know where this is going...

His search for a perfect partner is at the core of the book. It's a search that brings a smile to the reader's face as Don faces situations in which his literal self struggles with social conventions, and often causes titters, sniggers and beaming smiles at his reactions, and those of people around him. There are some wonderful set-pieces; the dancing scene at the start hard to beat.

It's important to stretch yourself sometimes with a challenging book and it's just as important to wallow in a warm-hearted and comic story.

This is begging for a Hollywood adaptation. Just cast it right, please, producers!

Such a fabulous read. One of the very few I may put on the 'to read again' list. High praise indeed...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliantly funny, perceptive story, 2 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Rosie Project (Hardcover)
Each reader brings to a book their own life-experiences, worldview, thoughts,feelings & knowledge. My own experiences and knowledge of autism and asperger's syndrome in people close to me gives me a special angle onto this excellent book. As I began to read it, it made me think of a cross-between 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time',and 'Diary of a Nobody'. As I continued to read, my admiration increased. Reading the story of Don Tillman, Genetics professor with Asperger's Syndrome, through his own eyes, is like experiencing the world as a parallel universe. The precision, honesty and simplicity of the narrator is both refreshing, touching, and moving. Having finished the book, not only did I find it extremely funny but enormously discerning about ourselves and our social behaviour.

On occasions, as I read the hilarious descriptions of Don's interactions with so-called 'normal' people, I found myself thinking, How can a person so mismanage critical moments of intimacy? The answer is, a person with Asperger's Syndrome. Or, perhaps, a reader may say - a person like me? Don misinterprets social cues. But how many of us can say that we are always strangers to that either?

I found it fascinating to have a rigorous and dispassionate examination of all the components of a piece of human behaviour, that people regularly indulge in without thinking it ever has to be explained.

I loved reading Don's meticulous recording of his systems and of 'normal' people's responses to him and his procedures for interpreting those responses. I even found myself thinking his Standardised Meal System had a lot to recommend it!

This is a brilliantly funny, perceptive story through the viewpoint of an autistic mind, which serves to open our eyes to ourselves, our behaviour and, perhaps, our own extreme oddness.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A feel-good easy read with a difference, 3 Jan 2014
By 
J Hutch (North Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rosie Project (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this, and couldn't put it down. On one hand its a light funny rom-com, that feels like it will be a successful feel-good film, on the other hand it educates the normal socially adept reader to see the social world from an alternative point of view. We see the world from Don's view point, an Australian genetics professor with many Asperges traits. I found it hard not to give him an American accent because he is very much like Sheldon in the 'Big Bang Theory'. By the end, though, Don's character is definitely distinct from Sheldon's (though in reality such a big change in social skills is unlikely to occur). I think they are both great, not because I think they are hilarious, as some readers do, but because I can relate to their way of thinking, which really makes me smile. Thankfully I only have a few of the traits, like sometimes taking things literally and finding it hard to lie or break rules.
I think it's ironic that so many readers seemed to have warmed to Don's character yet in real life many people keep their distance from those who are affected by Asperges syndrome. I hope the book helps to educate the public, and make them more understanding of those who are different. Ah, but I should explain, it's not Don that is different, it's everyone else!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable, 1 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Rosie Project (Kindle Edition)
Interesting concept that should resonate with many of us in today's controlled world where social interaction isn't necessarily taught or natural.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and genuinely funny, 22 Jun 2013
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Rosie Project (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I enjoyed this book enormously. It is, in structure, a pretty standard chalk-and-cheese romantic comedy but differs from a good many romantic comedies in that it is genuinely very funny and also rather touching in places.

The narrator, the geeky Don, is somewhere on the Asperger's spectrum and much of the humour of the book derives from his extremely literal take on things and his inability to read social situations. This has the potential to be cringe-makingly embarrassing but isn't - the narrative voice is so well done and Don such an engaging character that it's simply charming and often very funny. To give just one example, "I immediately recognised Julie...from Gene's description: 'blonde with big tits." In fact her breasts were probably no more than one and a half standard deviations from the mean size for her body weight and hardly an identifying feature..."

Other characters are well-drawn - so much so that you don't really notice that they're from RomCom Central Casting: the louche, lascivious best friend (Gene in the above extract), the rebellious, slightly kooky romantic interest, the disapproving boss...they're all there. But so what? They are so well done and the story so well told that I didn't even spot the Regulation Cast until after I'd finished.

There have been some very good Asperger's or Asperger's-like narrators in books - The Curious Incident..., obviously, but also The Universe vs Alex Woods The Universe Versus Alex Woods and even Kiss Me First Kiss Me First, which I didn't enjoy much as a book but has an excellent narrative voice. The bar is set pretty high, therefore, but this matches up extremely well. It's not packed with meaning and deep human insight (it's not supposed to be), but there's far more substance to it than just a fluffy, disposable RomCom.

In short, this is readable, engaging and funny. I made a spectacle of myself in public more than once by laughing out loud at the book, and I warmly recommend it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaps of warm-hearted humour? Correct!, 14 May 2013
By 
Sue Kichenside - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Rosie Project (Hardcover)
I lost track of the number of times I laughed out loud during the early pages of The Rosie Project. Graeme Simsion creates a thoroughly engaging 'hero' in the form of genetics professor Don Tillman whose journey from rigid routine and social inflexibility to something approaching (air quotes) normality takes the reader with him all the way.

Other characters are equally appealing, especially Don's friend Gene who notches up conquests on his bedpost according to nationality and his long-suffering wife Claudia, a psychologist, who dispenses sound advice to Don about his courting techniques. When Don devises a scientific approach to finding a life-partner - the Wife Project - barmaid Rosie is the least likely candidate. How come, then, he finds himself so drawn to her?

Graeme Simsion walks a precarious tightrope in writing a first-person account of a character with (it is to be assumed) Asperger's Syndrome. He rarely puts a foot wrong in this tender-hearted and very funny love story. Many reviewers have commented on similarities with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and even Rainman but, for me, Don Tillman brought to mind man-boy extraordinary John Cromer in Adam Mars-Jones' epic books Pilcrowand Cedilla. This is a thoroughly enjoyable read and heartily recommended.
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The Rosie Project
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Paperback - 2 Jan 2014)
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