The Rosie Project


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Blurb:

Love isn't 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?

Review:

"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-creame 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?"

Frankly, I don't have a lot to say about this book: It's a quick read, very light-hearted, tugs at the right heart-strings at the right time and it's funny. But it can be rather superficial at times, the ending felt pretty rushed and none of the conflicts seemed to really matter. Basically, it's the perfect "shut your brain off and enjoy some stupid, funny romance" novel, which is what I wanted to read.

That being said, there are a couple of things I wasn't so sure about – like the portrayal of Asperger's/autism (I've once done a little research project on autism myself and have been interested in the topic ever since but said research was a long time ago and I was rather young; while I do trust my brain to retain basic knowledge for a long time I do not trust it to know enough about autism/Asperger's to judge a book on it's accuracy in representing said topics) – but I was able to look beyond that because the book is clearly intended to be silly and did not push any kind of agenda other than "no matter how your brain is wired, you'll be able to love and be loved" which is always a good agenda in my book.

There were also a couple of things I thought were very well done. Such as Don's characterisation. He started out seemingly stating all his emotions at the beginning of the book but it becomes exceedingly obvious that he omits quite a few details about his emotional state which can be inferred by his behaviour. Not only was this able to make Don feel more life-like but it added an additional level of significance and meaning to his narration, which I find very valuable.

This was incredible, but much behaviour that developed in the ancestral environment seems incredible when considered in the context of the current world. Evolution has not kept up. But earlobes! Could there be a more irrational basis for a relationships? No wonder marriages fail.

Rating:

A quite satisfied 4/5 stars but not as solid as they could be.

Details:

Name: The Rosie Project
Deutscher Titel: Das Rosie-Projekt
Series: Don Tillman (but I'm not planning on treating the series as a, well, series – I'd rather leave this book as a stand-alone)
Author: Graeme Simsion
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 305
Where?: Amazon (English Edition), Amazon (Deutsche Ausgabe)

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