Anyone who knows me will be well aware of my love of books and the fact that I am a prolific reader. However, despite this, I have never written a book review. Well, maybe at school but not out of choice. I think I am always moving on so fast to the next book that I don’t get round to reviewing the last one. In a way I am a chain reader, I do not feel comfortable if I don’t have a book which I am currently reading. Anyway, I have decided to do a book review and see how it goes.
I have recently read a fantastic book called The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison. I don’t often go for the romantic comedy genre but I am glad I did this time.
It is a fabulously funny, thought provoking and interesting look at a socially inept man who is trying to find a wife. His OCD/Aspergers/Autistic type symptoms are easily identifiable from the beginning and the fact that the character, Don, is a scientist makes his life all the more ordered. You cannot help but like this character from the start and anyone who is a fan of Big Bang Theory will love his Sheldon type qualities. As with the Sheldon character, his OCD type characteristics make him more appealing as a character. The fact that he is totally unaware socially but is highly intelligent shows a kind of person who centres their life on what is important to them rather than what is important to other people.
The idea that Don Tillman is looking for a wife using a scientifically based questionnaire, based on rather specific criteria, comes across as a nerdy, scientific thing, but could just be seen as a more rigid, personalised version of dating agencies. The only difference is that Don is asking questions which are important to him rather than generalised questions. He knows what he wants and asks for it.
This highly intelligent geneticist has, however, totally forgotten to factor in the human factor. When he meets Rosie he does not really consider her as candidate for The Wife Project (his project for finding a wife) as she is so different from what he thinks he needs. Spending time with her is much nicer than he imagined it would be and we, the reader can see the attraction early on. Slight changes in his very rigid routine are the first sign that he has feelings for Rosie. The Father Project (A project Don is working on, for Rosie) seemed to be Don’s way of maintaining some kind of relationship with Rosie as well as, presumably, interesting his scientific side. The deeper they go into the Father Project, the more Don’s strict routine gets disrupted and he does not seem to be overly bothered. At first he starts to compensate and then just appears to let a few things go so that he can do the many things that the Father Project requires. It is fantastic to see the character grow and come out of his shell and improve himself as he embarks on this adventure.
His friendship with Gene and Claudia shows that, despite his lack of social skills, Don can have close friends. He does verge on being over familiar with them: for example, walking into the bedroom to borrow one of Gene’s shirts instead of asking, but I like the friendship between them. His experience with friends is mainly down to an interesting association with Daphne, an old lady he takes under his wing. He shows a remarkable tender side making a huge effort to provide her with extra "birthdays" as her Alzheimer’s set in.
As well as the fascinating character of Don Tillman, the book also has many other interesting people in it. Rosie, of course, is a complex woman with her own ideas who falls for the slightly quirky geneticist and his strange ways. Gene and Claudia have their own small world in the book mainly revolving around their open relationship and connections with Don. Dave, Phil and the Dean of the university all play a part as do various other characters.
I am not going to give any more of the plot away as I think this is well worth the read and would be suitable for men or women. I do identify in part with the ordered and particular way Don does things and I do rather like the premise that anyone can find love. As this book is a few years old there is already a follow up, The Rosie Effect........ I have to read this!