Tuesday, 31 March 2015

'The Rosie Project' by Graeme Simsion

Date finished: 27 March 2015

Series: Don Tillman, no. 1

Rating: 3/5

I’ve delayed reviewing The Rosie Project a bit because, every time I think about it I have a different overwhelming emotion. Despite my having enjoyed the book, by the end I felt uncomfortable and eager to turn the last few pages to get it over with. A couple of hours after I finished reading through the final pages of Don’s (really anticlimactic) Wife Project questionnaire that was included as a sort of appendix, I had an overwhelming desire to read the next book in the series. But then some little voice in my head jumped out and screamed, “Why? Whywhywhy?!” and I honestly couldn’t give a valid answer.

So I’ve finally come to terms with my feelings. Yes, I really enjoyed reading The Rosie Project. It was humorous and ridiculous and easy to read at most times. But I couldn’t get past a few things that kept jumping out of the pages and sitting in my ears to whine at high pitches until I closed the book and did something to forget about them. And even then they’d find a way into my brain and hop around until I acknowledged them, before they burst into flames and gave me a bit of a headache.

Don Tillman is smart and funny and attractive and he can’t help his feelings for a woman with whom he is totally incompatible, Rosie. And Rosie is artsy and beautiful and impulsive. They’re the perfect match, especially since Don is a geneticist and he’s intent on helping Rosie find her real father through DNA testing that sends them on a journey across the world.

It’s cute. Really, it is. Geneticist who’s totally unaware of the application of Coulomb’s Law in terms of human attraction falls for his polar opposite. But it’s unoriginal, and as much as Simsion tries to write Don’s story in a fresh and humorous way, it’s difficult to shake the underlying feeling that you know exactly what’s going to happen before you’re even twenty pages into the book.

Additionally, Don’s narrative voice sounded distinctly familiar right from the opening sentence, and it didn’t take very long to uncover the character of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory hiding right below the surface. Maybe Sheldon finally succeeded in cloning himself – we’ll never know. Quite simply, Don is a typical nerd who is not a typical nerd. He’s undoubtedly attractive and horribly smart, but it stunned me that even after doing extensive research on autism, he didn’t pick up on the fact that he himself is obviously autistic on some or other level. Honestly, this little detail goes against Don’s entire analytical and critical personality, and once you begin to question it, his character starts falling apart.

I’ve dwelled quite a bit on the negatives (and there’s still so much more I have to say…) but I’ll stop now to say that The Rosie Project is really a nice read. It’s cute, funny and romantic, and I suppose other people will find it easy to overlook the clichés and fall in love with it. Personally, I think it should’ve been a movie instead.

1 comment:

  1. I so agree with you about the fact that an analytical personality should have, in some way, picked up on the fact that he was autistic. Unless he thought it was so obvious, it was not worth commenting on?