Special Book Review – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

the rosie project


This was the choice for my online book club this month, blurb from goodreads.com Please scroll down for the reviews from the members. It seemed to be a love it or not book.

An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.
The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.


Jill Green
When I first began reading the Rosie Project I wondered if I was reading the right book, it certainly wasn’t living up to the reviews of a laugh out loud rom com! I kept falling asleep! But once it got to around 10% i started to enjoy it and when he finally met Rosie I was hooked. I even put it on my phone app so I could read it when I had a spare 5 mins. Don’s character was so well written giving you an insight into how people with Aspergers mind work. The opposites of Don and Rosie complimented each other well, I just couldnt wait to see how the story developed. I found myself smiling a lot and even laughed out loud at one point. A great story I would love to see made into a film! Definitely one I will be keeping on my kindle to read again sometime.


Mary Edgley
Weird, wacky, wonderful! A delightful story of the (un) romantic quest of Dan, a genius at learning new and exciting skills (super human cocktail waiter and maker amongst his many talents).

A professor at University, Dan earns his living at the esoteric heights of an academic ivory tower. However, Dan’s social skills leave much to be desired. He approaches the quest for a partner like yet another piece of research, focusing on those aspects of another human that would be essential to have or have not.

Rosie is equally wacky but in a very different ‘unique person’ way and fares better socially. The two cross paths by accidental design of one of Dan’s two only friends and the joy ride begins. Established very quickly that Rosie is not ‘partner’ material, Dan develops a friendship with her that begins a process of self-learning not previously experienced in his (very few) close relationships.

Sad, poignant, funny but most of all, endearing, this book engaged me in a way that others have failed in recent months. Reflecting on the dilemmas of those who are / are not identified as being on the so called ‘Autistic Spectrum’ I so wanted to be Dan’s friend, mother, lover…. Even his pet, as I lived the joy ride with him. I was delighted where we went.

I read the book in one, greedy all night sitting and give it my highest praise: it now features on my very short list of books that need reading every few years. I hope the mischief continues while I’m away.


AnneMarie Timmins
I really enjoyed this book I read it before the book club choice as I really fancied it.

I loved Dons thinking and logic. If only we could all make decisions without the emotional pull on us. It was a light hearted read. Knowing people with Aspergers it only touches lightly on some of the characteristics of AS and isn’t for anyone looking for anything deep.


Neats Wilson
Although I read The Rosie Project quickly I’m sorry to say it wasn’t down to the fact that I found it a really good read and I wasn’t gripped by the story. Don’s character was initally endearing but then I found he started to grate on me and I found the way he interacted with Rosie very hard to believe. Rosie’s character was fun and outgoing and Don had his routines (including the lobster on Tuesday) but the two coming together to me was unconvincing. I did find some funny moments in the book including when he was making cocktails and his ability to remember things so quickly. I found The Father project overtaking the story as the book went on and for me the outcome of that particular story was not a good one. I think that maybe if the book wasn’t written in the first person I might have enjoyed it more.


Julie May
Sorry but this months book left me unimpressed. I struggled to get into it and even thought about giving up once or twice. The main character was very irritating as he assessed everyone he met by age and BMI – at times I just wanted to give him a good slap lol. I liked the character of Rosie but felt sorry for her at the end having to spend her life with a man whose whole day is planned down to the last minute!!! The lack of spontaneity would lead to a very boring life. xx


MaryAnne Pardoe
Humorous without being farcical.
A highly entertaining look at the problem of finding a wife when your brain isn’t wired like the majority of the human race. And being a book group choice I then had the opportunity to go over all the most amusing parts for a second time

Don Tillman is a highly intelligent geneticist, but his personal life is less satisfactory. He exhibits many traits that we have come to recognise as typical of Asperger’s Syndrome, though it is only towards the end of the book that it even occurs to him that these are the symptoms that he, himself, demonstrates. He has two close friends, fellow geneticist, Gene, and his wife, Claudia. Occasional attempts at meeting prospective partners have ended disastrously, so he decides to eliminate future failures by constructing a questionnaire, which becomes dubbed The Wife Project.
Rosie (of the title) is sent to Don by Gene, to settle a bet relating to genetics, but Don assumes she is a prospective candidate for The Wife Project. Their friendship is fraught with difficulties, but Don decides he is going to use his ability to test human DNA to determine who Rosie’s father is and so their relationship develops in spite of the fact that he has long since decided that she is totally unsuitable as a future partner.

The author has managed a humorous series of misunderstandings and errors of judgement, without the book falling into the realm of farce. It was a pleasure to read and I would highly recommend it.


And to top it all off, my own review.
This was February´s book of the month in my online book club. This is the author´s debut novel.
My initial thoughts were that I am not sure if I am going to enjoy this one, the thought of a romantic comedy doesn´t appeal a great deal to me but step away from the genre and you have a rather good click lit book, with a difference and written by a man. The author has a feminine side to him, it is an emotional book. The main character is a 39 year old man who has no idea how to be in a relationship, and not just in a romantic relationship, but any relationship, as, although it is not written anywhere in the book, there is a high chance he has Asperger’s and autism. Not the best of combinations, but he is intelligent and has a good job as a professor in a local university. The details of Don´s life are repetition, he is a creature of habit so much so he can´t be late even for a minute, and for most people this can be quite annoying. Rosie on the other hand is completely the opposite, late, smokes, I could go on, but I won´t, but basically everything she is, is not what Don wants in a wife.

although it did make me smile on occasion I didn´t laugh out loud. I felt a little sad for Don and his inability to maintain relationships. I did get a little annoyed at around the 70% mark, I just wanted them to get on with it, they were beating around the bush a little, too much fluff.

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One thought on “Special Book Review – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

  1. Happy to find your blog! While my own writing focus is largely on food, I’ve started offering fiction and nonfiction book giveaways. In crafting reviews, I am happy to learn from folks who have been at this longer than I! 🙂

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