Book Reviews

The Rosie Project: Don Tillman 1 by Graeme Simsion

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List Price: £8.99


Paperback: 368 Pages.

Published: 02 January 2014 by Penguin

Edition: 01

ISBN: 9781405912792

EAN: 9781405912792

Love isn't an exact science - but no one told Don Tillman. A thirty-nine-year-old geneticist, Don's never had a second date. So he devises the Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie - 'the world's most incompatible woman' - throwing Don's safe, ordered life into chaos. But what is this unsettling, alien emotion he's feeling?


5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Anne

Very entertaining

This is an unusual romantic comedy novel narrated by Don who is a lecturer at an Australian University in genetics. It is obvious from the beginning that Don is wired differently from other people. He is a genius but also socially inept and unaware of other people's feelings to a frightening extent. At the beginning of the book he delivers a lecture on behalf of his philandering friend on Asperger's Syndrome and I think that the book was trying to suggest that Don has that condition. I don't think that the way he changes and learns in the last third of the book really bears out that diagnosis but the way he reacts to things is definitely similar to people who have Asperger's. Whatever condition he has means that his narrative lacks self-awareness and, therefore, is very amusing for the reader who can see things that Don cannot.

Don decides that he needs to get a wife so he embarks on a project to do this by creating a questionnaire for prospective applicants. This leads to some amusing moments and also some interesting questions, which are not answered, about what makes an ideal match. Into Don's life comes Rosie, a free thinking, impetuous woman with a problem - she wants to trace her biological father. This involves Don getting together with her to undertake a lot of amusing tasks to try and work out who this person might be. On the way Don's regimented life falls apart and he finds himself trying new things and having new experiences.

I loved this book. I thought that it was amusing but well written. I empathised with both Don and Rosie and was delighted as Don began to be more sociable and to enjoy life more - I especially cheered when he had a go at his promiscuous friend. The situations that the author finds to put the couple in are entertaining and not as obvious as you might expect. Don's habit of always being at home in every situation and finding a solution to every problem is very uplifting but I am glad that he keeps many of his unusual quirks to the end of the novel.

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