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165 of 171 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 23 months ago by Peeking Man

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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different and funny, but over-hyped
Don Tillman is a genetics Professor in Melbourne, his life one that is dominated by routines and strict schedules and order; he knows that his brain works differently to most, social situations in particular are not his forte, however, the way he sees it he is governed by logic and reason as opposed to his emotions. Approaching his fortieth birthday, Don decides that he...
Published 12 months ago by little bookworm


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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different and funny, but over-hyped, 22 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Rosie Project: Don Tillman 1 (Don Tillman series) (Kindle Edition)
Don Tillman is a genetics Professor in Melbourne, his life one that is dominated by routines and strict schedules and order; he knows that his brain works differently to most, social situations in particular are not his forte, however, the way he sees it he is governed by logic and reason as opposed to his emotions. Approaching his fortieth birthday, Don decides that he wants to get married; it being well documented that married men live longer and are happier. To this end he embarks on the wife project, for which he designs a specific questionnaire in order to efficiently select his ideal partner. Then Rosie enters his life, and all logic and reason swiftly goes out of the window!

The Rosie Project makes for a diverting and unusual read, mainly because it is told entirely from Don's perspective and his rather unique take on the world. Don as the central character is utterly delightful, and hard not to warm to despite all his oddities. In essence he could be Sheldon Cooper's (from the Big Bang Theory) twin; and he makes for a refreshing hero.

I actually probably preferred the first part of the story, as we get to know Don and his little routines, e.g. the very efficient standardised meal system, and as he devises his questionnaire to seek out the perfect wife; however, then Rosie enters the story and it starts to drift off in another direction. There is initially some confusion between the two characters, Don assuming Rosie to be an applicant, albeit a very unsuitable one, for the wife project, when in actual fact she is seeking his advice as a genetics expert to help track down her real father. This assumption being cleared, Don sets out helping Rosie gather DNA samples to find out who her real father is; this element of the plot actually then becoming quite a dominant one in the story, and I have to say that personally I felt it rather dragged out, Simsion rather going into too much detail over it all, and more that I particularly cared for or was invested in. Furthermore, I thought the actual resolution to the father project to be very weak.

Obviously as Rosie and Don spend time together on the father project, they start to develop a friendship; Rosie challenging quite a lot of Don's views and throwing him into situations he is unaccustomed to, but often finds himself enjoying as he loosens up and stops sticking so rigidly to all his routines. There are plenty of amusing incidents that follow to this effect, and you can easily see where the story is heading; however, personally I found Don's progress to becoming more socially adept and his willingness to alter his hitherto strict routines rather too quick, particularly as it is implied that he likely suffers from undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome. In real life such dramatic changes would be unlikely to occur in so short a time span, and as such the condition is perhaps trivialised in a way.

My other main criticism is that I did at times struggle to warm to Rosie; often she simply came across as too immature and angry, in particular regarding her issues with her father.

Overall an entertaining read, and certainly different to the usual in the romantic comedy genre, with some interesting food for thought and a very likable lead character. However, from all the glowing reviews I had probably been expecting more than I got; and as such did feel that the book may have been over-hyped a little.
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165 of 171 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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105 of 112 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)   
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We're all somewhere on the spectrum, 21 Aug. 2014
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Don Tillman is a Professor of Psychology at an Australian University. He likes to live his life according to the routine and rules that he has fashioned - strict timing and set routines. However having researched that he would have a better life with a partner he decides to go and find one. With the help of his friends Don puts together a questionnaire designed to find him a wife but it doesn't prove successful. Then Rosie appears in his life and for some reason he decides to help her on her quest to find her biological father. Rosie is everything Don does not want in a partner.

Despite his peculiarities Don is an incredibly likeable character and, as a reader, one ends up wanting him to find love. Whilst Simsion admits that 'The curious incident of the dog in the night' was an influence this is not a copy, the plot is original and funny. This is a fantastic book that really entertains.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An experiment in literal literary., 1 Oct. 2014
By 
Jakeisthecoolest "Jake" - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Rosie Project: Don Tillman 1 (Don Tillman series) (Kindle Edition)
So there has been a lot of hype around his book. A crazy amount of hype, including one of biggest advances in publishing history. The story of a man suffering from Aspergers systematically searching out the ideal woman is a witty, and fun new angle to it. And while the comedy of errors that ensues on the way to a romantic finale is good fun, overall I found it a little disappointing. While I certainly do not want to detract from an enjoyable book that is well written and humorous, but at the end of the day it was another boy meets girl and how many escapades must they, and us, endure in their will they won't they saga? The characters are well-developed and there are one or too laugh out loud moments, but to be honest there was nothing sticking. I guess I expected something a little more poignant.
Having said all that, this is a fine holiday read as long as you don't expect too much.
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23 of 27 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
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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62 of 73 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 100 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare for an unexpected love story!, 10 Dec. 2014
By 
Lola (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Rosie Project: Don Tillman 1 (Don Tillman series) (Kindle Edition)
Delightful, totally delightful, inspiring, humourous, kind-hearted, charming and amusing book. "The Rosie Project" is a unconventional and comical love story, about looking for love, and finding it, and fighting for it.

Once I got into "The Rosie Project" (and it took me a day or two), I just could not put it down! What a charming character Graeme Simsion created! Hooray for Don! Weird and wonderful! The book has its faults (the biased portrayal of aspergers syndrome, the narrative that many people might disagree with), but all in all it's a fun, peculiar and almost "intellectual" love story. Sometimes very funny, some times tear-jerking.

I could not wait to start The Rosie Effect: Don Tillman 2 the minute I finished "The Rosie Project". Recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Un-put-downable!, 8 Dec. 2014
So although I’m about 3 billion years late to The Rosie Project party, I finally got around to reading it after a friend sent me a copy in the post! (Thank you!) After hearing people talk and rave and debate this book for almost a year, I can finally join in and say I was not disappointed. The Rosie Project is about 39 year-old single, geneticist, Don who has never had a second date, let alone a girlfriend. He creates The Wife Project – a questionnaire in which he hands around to potential candidates in order to try and find the perfect life partner. However when Rosie, the most unsuitable of partners turns up in his office one day, Don’s life gets thrown into turmoil when he realises how incompatible they really are. She’s disorganised, always late, a smoker and mathematically illiterate. But they say opposites attract, right?

Now, you can’t blame me for being a bit apprehensive when starting this book because of how much everyone in the blogosphere has raved about it but after a chapter I knew I was sold. The writing style was so compulsive that you find it hard to stop. Don was an extremely likeable main character and you couldn’t help but feel for him. He shows a lot of characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome but isn’t aware he has it – it seems obvious to us, the reader but to him, his behaviour is totally acceptable. If you’re a Big Bang Theory fan, you’ll instantly notice the similarities between Don and Sheldon. I loved the contrast between Don and Rosie and their relationship right from the word go was worth rooting for. I loved seeing Don open up gradually throughout the book – Rosie really brought out the best in him and allowed him to see a whole new world, completely different from his own.

This really is one of the most unique and important love stories I’ve ever read. Completely unconventional but poignant and incredibly moving – it shows that you don’t need all the rainbows and sunshine for a truly universal romance to blossom. I’m kicking myself that it took me so long to get around to reading but now I have, this one definitely won’t be leaving me anytime soon and I cannot wait for the sequel! Funny, entertaining, emotional, un-put-down-able; everything you could ever want in a story. An absolute delight to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Romcom at its best, 20 Oct. 2014
By 
S. Shamma "Suad" (Abu Dhabi, UAE) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a book that I delved in quite quickly. It's a feel-good romantic comedy that could be the alternative script in some parallel universe if The Big Bang Theory chose to rewrite the show so that Sheldon Cooper would have a romantic relationship with Penny (a smarter Penny perhaps).

Yes, this comparison's already been mentioned a couple of million times, but it's true. Don Tillman is what I would imagine to be a more handsome, older version of Sheldon with high functioning Autism - or Asperger's. Another good comparison would be Adam, from the film Adam, starring Hugh Dancy (a great film by the way). But enough with all the comparisons, and let's stick to the story.

I found Don to be really charming despite his lack of it, I found him to be really considerate despite his lack of consideration, and I found him to be really really sweet. When Don and Rosie meet and they start hanging out, I loved watching him slowly let go and allowing himself to sort of follow Rosie's lead for a change, and do things her way. I enjoyed their interactions, their conversations, how she seemed to bring out a side of him that's not been seen by any of his friends and family before. She was able to make him feel love, but she was also able to make him feel hurt, and I think that's important in this overall journey of emotions that Don was experiencing. We got to know him better through Rosie, we were able to understand him better, to delve into his life a little deeper, and find out things about him and his past that we probably wouldn't have known had it not been for Rosie's influence on him.

But the story was very funny too! In true RomCom style, their interactions varied from laugh out loud funny to cringe-worthy. Their trip to New York was very interesting for me, and I loved how Simsion made me actually feel like I was experiencing New York with them! The mystery to try and find out who Rosie's biological father was also a great storyline, even though I had it figured out long before they did.

Over all, a fun and charming story to read. I actually seem to be picking up a lot of books with autistic characters lately (mother mother, the curious incident of the dog, rosie project, and now reading Isla and the happily ever after), but I would say Don has been my favourite character out of the bunch so far.
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