Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simson

I have to admit, I was very reluctant to read The Rosie Project.  

In fact, it ended up staying at the bottom of my to-read pile for thirteen months. When you write a book review blog, writing reviews of books that have received a lot of hype, and that everyone seemed to love, can often prove difficult. It's easy to end up looking like a pretentious dickhead if it turns out that you're that one reader who hates it, and it's just as easy to look like a sheep who is following a collective oohing and ahhing if you love it. And if you're ambivalent, well someone who loves it is going to try and convince you that you should love it. Consequently, I ended up reading The Rosie Project only after I was stuck at home with a virus and had exhausted most of my to-read pile. (Don Tillman would be shocked by my methods, I'm sure.)

By the time I was three pages in, I realised that I was probably going to be joining the collective oohing and ahhing. There is no escaping it. The Rosie Project is a very cleverly told tale of Don Tillman, a man of extreme intelligence and who routine. He also has very poor social skills. Anyway, Don decides that it is time that he found himself a wife and starts searching in the only way that he knows how--by creating a questionnaire that will help him find an ideal match. And then along comes Rosie, a woman who, according to his questionnaire would be his least likely match. Through misadventure, the inevitable happens and Don learns that love isn't necessarily something that can be planned, or that one can apply scientific methods to.

I've read a number of reviews of The Rosie Project and I have noticed that many readers focus on the possibility that Don may have Asperger's, (the second chapter paves way for the possibility,) but the book never mentions whether or not Don has been diagnosed with Asperger's or any other developmental disorder. Ultimately, I suppose it is left up to the reader to decide. At the heart of the book is an unlikely love story, and with a main a character that I, as a reader, sometimes invested in, cheered for and occasionally became angry with. And this, of course, may just be the same as how I might react to someone like Don if I knew them in real life. 

Highly recommended.

This book was read as part of the Aussie Author Challenge 2015