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The Rosie Project: Don Tillman 1
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on 13 March 2017
I enjoyed the first third of this book very much indeed. It conveyed an hard working, brave and kind man, doing his best under great difficulties. However, it did not completely fulfill the author's potential (for me).
I got a bit muddled with the drawn out DNA testing and couldn't be bothered to go back and reread the puzzling bits. Also, his own diagnosis (sort of "diagnosis") came much too late. I found the ending unsatisfying, particularly for the main female character (who we fidnt really get to know).
As well as this, I don't think the last two thirds of the book found the balance between the strengths (e.g. kindness, intelligence) and pain (eg of being often misunderstood, hence, loneliness and the under-achievement of a super-intelligent person) of the main character.
In spite of this, the book does have charm. It would be good for discussion within a book group.
Note: I have ADHD, dyslexia and clinical depression (I'm a laugh a minute!) so may have a different perspective to some people.
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on 3 November 2015
I'm not sure there is a product description for this book, and having read it on my kindle, I don't know what the "back page cover" said. This is a book from my personal bookshelf, which I decided to read mainly because of all the hype surrounding it. It's taken me a while to get around to it mainly because I wasn't sure what it was about and also the lobster on the cover put me off!
So, what is it all about? Don Tillman is a genetics professor who views the world very logically due to him I believe having Aspergers Syndrome. To me he comes across as Spock meets Roy Cropper (Coronation Street).

He has reached the age of 40 and the research he has read points to married men living longer and happier lives. So he decides to tackle the acquisition of a wife in the same way he would his research. He formulates a questionnaire to garner suitable candidates to be his wife.

Alongside this is his friend, Gene, who is also a professor and collecting women from each country to add notches to his bedpost, albeit being married to Claudia.

Don begins his research project but meets Rosie - thrown into the mix by his friend Gene. What follows is a tale of how he and Rosie interact - very unconventionally given Don's OCD approach to the world.

My favourite part of the book was when they were cooking and the meal was going to be late. Rosie suggests putting the clock to the time it would have been, which ensures that Don is able to let go of the his OCD and cook the meal.

I found this a strange book, certainly different to anything I have read before. It did make me laugh out loud and there are some fabulous observations in this book. If you find it difficult to suspend disbelief, then this is probably not the book for you.
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on 5 October 2017
Took a while to get into, but ultimately very entertaining, scattered with numerous bonus nuggets of genetics and psychology knowledge (thank goodness he changed his original plans to make Don a physicist - would have lost my interest early on). It is very filmic and I wasn't surprised to read that the author had written it as a screenplay - though converting it into a novel requires a whole different level of skill, and he does it pretty well. Will see what the rest of the book group have to say about it.
Incidentally I wish there was a "book group" option on Amazon so that several used copies of the same book could be sent together, making postage more economical - when I have ordered 2 or more of the same one, they always arrive individually. It would be a good way for a seller to shift titles they are overstocked with, too!
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on 1 September 2016
I started this book and quickly thought that Don was a replica of Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory and was going to give up. So glad I didn't. Don is a real life weirdo. He has charm and innocence and you quickly see that he has so much to offer his weirdness is a result of his intellect and upbringing. His burgeoning relationship with Rosie and with his only two friends Gene and Claudia gives him depth and there are many laugh out loud moments. I loved the quirkiness of this book and feel a great sense of loss now that the book is finished. Go on the rollercoaster ride of Dons transition from weirdo.to partial weirdo and you really enjoy the ride. A clever book and great fun to boot and don't forget the lobster on Tuesday.
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on 7 September 2015
Professor of genetics Don Tillman has a wife problem, he believes it is is purely a question of finding a solution, a logical solution and so begins his search for love, and a suitable partner.

“I've sequenced the questions for maximum speed of elimination,’ I explained. ‘I believe I can eliminate most women in less than forty seconds. Then you can choose the topic of discussion for the remaining time.’
‘But then it won’t matter,’ said Frances. ‘I’ll have been eliminated.’
‘Only as a potential partner. We may still be able to have an interesting discussion.’
‘But I’ll have been eliminated.’
I nodded. ‘Do you smoke?’
‘Occasionally,’ she said.
I put the questionnaire away. ‘Excellent.’ I was pleased that my question sequencing was working so well. We could have wasted time talking about ice-cream flavours and make-up only to find that she smoked. Needless to say, smoking was not negotiable. ‘No more questions. What would you like to discuss?”Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project

His total blindness of his own problem and the fact that he has resolved most problems in his life through logic and study are what makes this a very funny book, like the movie Big the innocence and honesty of the character makes the story shine with freshness and insight of the problems most of us face, but accept as normal everyday human relations.

“I have heard the word ‘stunning’ used to describe women, but this was the first time I had actually been stunned by one.” Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project

This is s beautiful comedy that has some lovely moments of humanity and understanding that will have you one minute laughing and the next feeling total empathy for Don’s everyday dilemmas, as we begin to experience the world through his eyes

“I haven’t changed my mind. That’s the point! I want to spend my life with you even though it’s totally irrational. And you have short earlobes. Socially and genetically there’s no reason for me to be attracted to you. The only logical conclusion is that I must be in love with you.”
― Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project

A very good companion to have on a day you are taking the train to work or on a long flight, just be careful you don't start laughing out loud or looking too sad in the company of strangers, you may have to explain the solution to the Wife Problem.
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on 28 August 2017
mostly, I loved this and thought it was funny, clever, warm and very well written but ( and it is a pretty big but) it left me cross as it ended so abruptly and clearly was deliberately engineered so you went on to buy the follow-up book. well it didn't work for me as shall not be shelling out any more money - a pity as it could have so easily been a wonderful book with jus a little more care as to how to wrap it up.

btw this is nothing to do with the identity of Rosie's father as his identity was flagged a fair way ot, and, the joy of the book was in so many things other than this
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on 22 October 2015
Many truly hilarious moments in this book, as well as some very poignant ones.
Don is a very intelligent Professor, who is a little different. No friends but one, due to his social ineptness, and total honesty and belief in science. He has no "soft" skills at all, and is literal in his approach to life. His life is completely organised to the nth degree as he does not like surprises and inefficiency. He wants to try one last time to develop a relationship with a woman, as he does not want to be alone forever. So, he approaches this objective as a science project -"the wife project", much like scientific research is structured. How to filter, select the best candidate with whom he can have a relationship, is the task. And what traits,values,qualities etc exactly would be required in a woman for him to be interested in her? And then, how to measure each potential candidate's suitability.

A great story.
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on 4 April 2017
This was a book club choice and I am so glad it was. Funny, romantic yet sad in its own way, Simsion takes us on a journey through the eyes of a unique individual. Seeing life in this way makes a simple story all the more entertaining. The main characters were well thought through, thoroughly believable and well crafted. This is the most entertaining book I've read in ages, and although I found remembering the varied characters in the father project, that did not detract from the great story.
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on 11 August 2017
This isn't my usual type of read, but having heard so many positive comments and seen the good reviews on Amazon I bought a Kindle copy whilst it was on offer.
I found it quite amusing, although unlike most readers I did not adore Don, and found both him and Rosie intensely irritating at times. But it was very written and I would recommend it as an easy and funny read (and although I was enticed by the low price I would've been just as happy had I paid full price for the kindle version).
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on 29 April 2015
I loved this book - it was funny, poignant and original; how many books can you truly say that about? I have to admit I went in fully prepared to dislike the MC. Don is almost completely without understanding of social skills, hyper intelligent and conditioned to believe certain mindsets as truths - for instance someone in a lower status job is less intelligent. However when new information comes to light he alters his thinking. Somehow the author really makes us see the world through Don's eyes while at the same time allowing us to both cringe and laugh at his social gaffs. It's only later when we realize that he does know that he's approaching things the wrong way but plays into it because it's better to be seen as the clown or buffoon by your own choice, that it really sinks in just how difficult it is to navigate in a world of social conventions that you have no frame of reference for and worse no in build facility to respond and adapt too!

This was also a brilliant love story - Rosie is fresh, funny, vibrant, intelligent and completely messed up. She's also perceptive and kind which is a combination I want to see in more female characters. It's not always about sticking it to the patriarchy!

The best romantic comedy I've read since Bridget Jones and a corker of a book. I'm so glad the next one is soon available.
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