Title: The Rosie Project
Author: Graeme Simsion
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Rating: Fantastic 5/5
THE ART OF LOVE IS NEVER A SCIENCE
MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.
Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.
Arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, Graeme Simsion’s distinctive debut will resonate with anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of great challenges. The Rosie Project is a rare find: a book that restores our optimism in the power of human connection.
This is a movie in the making! No, seriously, I really believe it will be if you read this post on DeadlineHollywood. And there is even a listing with IMBd .
Don Tillman is a brilliant and unusual man who approaches life with rigidness and repetition, and goes to extremes to make sure that his life is simple, neat and orderly. He memorizes seven extravagant meals down to the very teaspoon of every spice, and does not waver from this routine. He has very few friends, but what friends he does have are loyal and loving towards, Don, But his friends have their their own foibles that adds a colorful flavor to this book.
Take for example, Don’s friend Gene who is the head of the Psychology Department. His current project is to “have sex with women of as many different nationalities as possible.” Don sees nothing wrong with this because he firmly believes it is a project that Gene would be sincerely interested in, (all in the name of academia of course) since it is regarding human sexual attraction. However, Gene is married. But from Don’s perspective it is an open marriage and believes that the couple have no issues regarding this lifestyle. Gene’s wife Claudia is a psychologist as well. It was difficult to ascertain during the book, whether or not Claudia was totally on board with this project. So, Don has a total of 2 friends. He had another friend, Daphne. I came to absolutely adore his and Daphne’s relationship. It was very sweet. You will love to read that part.
Don has Asperger’s, although he does not or maybe is too busy to acknowledge that he has this syndrome. At one point he was forced to volunteer to watch a classroom of students with Asperger’s. Don failed to make the connection.
This is just one of the many scenes of the book that just did it for me.
Don is “thirty nine years old, tall, and intelligent, with a relatively high status and above-average income as an associate professor.” And he believes it is time for him to find a mate. Don is very fit by the way and exercises regularly and studies aikido. He states that, “Logically, I should be attractive to a wide range of women. In the animal kingdom, I would succeed in reproducing.” Statements like these made me want to hug him and makes me think that he is very much the looker.
He was quite vexed at the fact that he has the inability to make friends easily, and very uneasy at pursuing a romantic relationship. The Apricot Ice Cream was a good example. He is a brilliant scientist with firm beliefs; but can’t seem to say the right things, and certainly does not know when to refrain from keeping his mouth shut when the situations calls for it. I really felt awful for Don, and in this respect, this book really hooked me in. Empathy. The author does a wonderful job of extracting that emotion from the reader when it comes to Don.
Don would be the type of man that could drive you crazy, but he certainly wouldn’t be boring. And although Don, in the beginning is comfortable with his strict regiment, I couldn’t help but feel awful at having to live a life so strictly controlled. Don has little room for modification when it comes to living his life.
Because of this, he comes up with a brilliant plan to find his perfect mate and possible wife. He concocts a
brilliant questionnaire. Height, weight, body mass index (which Don cannot help but estimate everyone’s BMI), do you like kidney beans?, STD, non-smoker, drink much? Do you arrive to events early/late? He would then utilize matchmaking organizations and when he got lucky, he presented the questionnaire. Many unsuccessful scenarios later, and the project does not seem fruitful, and Don starts to lose hope. But another project seems to have taken precedence.
Along comes Rosie. She is in need of Don’s services, but in a completely different matter; she wants to find her real father. Through their adventures, Rosie eventually becomes friend number 3. She is completely unsuitable as a wife candidate and Don tells her so and many times in a quipped and harsh way; but Rosie takes it in stride. She’s always late, she drinks, she makes Don do things that he normally does not do. She makes him waver from his strict and uncompromising ways and Don realizes that he is actually enjoying himself.
They are opposites in every way.
But as they team together to try and find an answer for Rosie, somewhere along the way, she became important to him.
This was a seriously hilarious and uplifting story, both comical and romantic. This would make a fantastic play or movie, and in the event this occurs, I hope I will be there to see it. The ending really gets you and it’s not for me to tell. Read the book. You won’t forget it, and you will likely come back to re-read it.
With over 25,000 4-5 star rating , 5000+ reviews on Goodreads, it really didn’t need another. But I wanted to share with you to tell you how much I really loved this author’s work.
About the Author as noted in his website:
Briefly Graeme Simsion is:
A writer of screenplays, short stories, novels and a couple of short plays
An occasional producer of films – primarily those for which I am screenwriter
Formerly an IT specialist (data modeling) and founder of a business and IT consultancy
Helped establish two other businesses: Roy’s Antiques and Pinot Now
Husband of Anne Buist and father of two.
Resident in Fitzroy (Melbourne) Australia
A fragmented cv… Beyond the Duck
If you’ve found yourself here because you’re writing an article about “The Rosie Project”, or perhaps something else I’ve done, and would like to know a bit more about me, then thank you. If you’re just curious, thanks for your interest!
Yes, it’s true that I once gave a conference presentation dressed as a duck. And for good reason, really (I wanted to attract people to a dry topic). But it was a long time ago. And it’s become the most commonly cited “interesting fact” about me.
So, in the hope that I may eventually be remembered for something other than the duck story, here are a few other things I’ve done…
Wrote, produced and acted in a feature film – Voluntary Act - and packed the Kino Theatre for its first and only showing. It was deservedly buried after that, but was the spark that got me interested in a writing career.
Asked Peter Sarsdedt to record a special version of Where do you go to My Lovely for my partner, replacing the bit about being in between twenty and thirty… (Which he graciously did – thank you) [This is the ‘romantic’ credential)
Led a packed hall of chartered accountants in community singing – with feeling. (The duck story had set expectations).
Walked the Chemin de St Jacques / Camino de Santiago / Way of St James 2,000 km from Tramayes, France to Santiago with my wife. Life changing.
Drunk 99 year old champagne from the wreck of the Jonkoping. (Celebrating my friend Roy the Antique Dealer’s 50th). I like wine quite a lot and helped start a small wine business with a friend, but that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Eaten at El Bulli. And twice at Robuchon when it was rated best restaurant in the world. See preceding point. It must have been the 80s…
Shared above three events with erotic fiction writer Simone Sinna (who, under other names, is a Professor of psychiatry and my wife).
Edited three novels and three novellas of erotic female fiction including MFM paranormal. (See previous).
Driven a 1962 Kombi around Australia. A long time ago. But I’ve travelled quite a bit, a lot of it doing seminars on consulting skill and data modeling.
For many years drove a 1958 Porsche. Now own a 1992 911 which I never drive. See reference to erotic fiction writer above. See earlier reference to 1980s – it was the end of the boom and conspicuous consumption.
Failed my Feature Film subject (the first time) at RMIT. “DNS: Did not submit.” The reference is to the project, not my attitude, but… Still a student of writing and editing there.
Did a PhD after I sold my business – feel free to address me as Doctor. Or not. Still less qualified than partner WHO IS A CHRONIC OVERACHIEVER.
Built a consulting business – Simsion Bowles & Associates – to some 70 staff in three cities – sold in 1999. A big chunk of my life – my ‘day job’ before I began writing. Ultimately successful but a lot of bumps along the way.
Career highlight: facilitating at the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Australia 2020 Summit.
Played harmonica with a band, publicly. (Thanks serious musicians including Data Modelling co-author Graham Witt, for seeing me through).
Wrote and produced Charles (“Bud”) Tingwell’s last film – a short titled The Last Bottle with Genevieve Picot that has appeared on ABC TV.
Ran Canberra marathon at an age when I should have known better, with almost fatal results. Wrote a short story about it.
Got my amateur radio licence at 15, in keeping with the type of kid I was at the time. (Not entirely dissimilar to the young Don Tillman but without the martial arts)
Born in New Zealand. Father British. Naturalised Australian. Accent is occasionally spotted.
Written one of the most popular books (possibly the most popular) on data modelling. Data Modeling Essentials – Morgan Kaufmann.
Written one of the least popular books (but deep and rigorous) on data modelling. Thanks to Technics (Steve Hoberman) for publishing.
Held an o-1 Visa for USA – Alien of Extraordinary Abilities. As held by Don Tillman. Not as an author – a data modeller.
Nerd fact: My (Kevin) Bacon number is 4 – Self – Dominique Simsion (Voluntary Act) – Beth Child (Push Up) – Meryl Streep (Evil Angels) – Kevin Bacon (The River Wild)
My Erdos number is 4: Self – Daniel Moody – Amotz Bar-noy – Nathan Linial – Paul Erdos ….
… which gives me the (rare) Erdos-Bacon number of 8. Colin Firth and Natalie Portman have 6s. Partner also 8. Of course.