The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project


Michael Joseph Ltd


Amazon Vine

My Rating
3 stars

Don Tillman, Professor of Genetics, has a specific task to undertake – that of finding a suitable wife as previous romantic endeavours have ended disastrously.  It is never openly stated but it would appear from his problems with social interaction and his unrelenting adherence to routine that Don has Aspergers and thus his “Wife Project” is fraught with difficulty.  He devises a questionnaire for potential wife candidates and typically he has very precise requirements as to what qualities a good wife should possess.  Enter Rosie Jarman who seems the anthithesis of the Don’s ideal wife but somehow a spark develops between them although it takes Don quite a while to figure this out.   Rosie has another project in mind as she is trying to work out who her real father is and hopefully Don’s expertise in genetics will aid her in her quest.   What follows is a comedy of errors as Dan and Rosie dance around each other not quite confronting their emerging feelings for each other.

Romantic comedies are not my usual genre of choice but the inclusion of a protagonist with Aspergers appealed to me as my son has Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD, another term for Aspergers).  Maybe I am too close to the subject matter but I found the novel lacking and the characters at times two dimensional.  Yes, the behaviour of Aspies can be funny to others but there’s much more to them than social inadequacy if one cares to do more than scratch the surface.  Perhaps it’s the limitations of the genre which prevent an in-depth portrayal of Gene but The Rosie Project reads more like a screenplay for a quirky, screwball rom-com than an insightful novel.

I realise I am probably in the minority here but for me, The Rosie Project lacks light and shade both in its plot and characters – a shame as it could have been a much more convincing portrait of what life is like for those with ASD.  No, it’s not all doom and gloom but it’s not a laugh a minute, stand-up  routine either.

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  1. Anne Cater says:

    I agree with everything that you’ve said Treez. I found it all became just a little bit ‘too much’ and began to resemble a bad sit-com. It has had loads of hype and I believe that it’s being made into a film

  2. admin says:

    Good to know that I’m not alone!

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