The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project is an interesting book by Graeme Simsion. It’s a romance novel, but in first person and 100% from the man’s POV. Not just any man though ~ Don is on the autism spectrum. I enjoy how Don makes his plans and lists, scheduling his days/weeks for maximum efficiency. Although he is very judgmental about other people’s inefficiencies, brainpower, and BMI, which could have been annoying to read, the narrator infuses it all with humor, and Don is often able to engage in a bit of inadvertent self-mockery. Those factors make TRP fun.

At the start, Don begins a “wife project,” which reminds me of all the endless dating questionnaires and tests and bullshit I’ve engaged in over the years. There’s nothing that weird about Don’s method, except he devises his own very complex questionnaire rather than going online and doing a canned version. Of course it fails, like they all do, because love doesn’t spontaneously generate from a pile of matching scores. I don’t mind the predictability of this because it is a romance, after all, and true to the formula, but at a certain point I just get a little bored.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that The Rosie Project becomes repetitive toward the end, and it suffers the fate of all first-person romances, which is that while we are treated to Don’s thoughts and feelings (yes, he haz feelings!) in glorious detail, we’re never in the heroine’s POV, so her moods and actions are as inexplicable to us as they are to Don. What are we supposed to make of Rosie’s abrupt changes of mind? Idk, because she may or may not be telling Don the truth ~ maybe she isn’t sure of it herself. Don has a hard time processing other people’s confusing behaviors, and since we are in his head, it’s hard for us to do that as well.

So, I gave the book four stars on Goodreads, which means I liked it a lot, but it wasn’t “amazing.” Most of the Amazon reviewers gave it five stars.

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12 responses to “The Rosie Project

  1. Sounds like something I would enjoy. Thanks for the review! (and I can vouch for the people on the spectrum that have a hard time processing feelings. My son is certain he is never going to have a GF.)

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  2. agedhipster, my sister was certain as stone that her oldest boy would never get a GF and we all basically agreed then, blamo, he crossed paths with a girl weird in the same geeky ways, and IT IS ON!. Love is strange.

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  3. My son on the spectrum is very lonely.

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  4. This would be too painful for me to read.

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    • Sorry E. This book actually gives an optimistic view and hope to anyone who is even slightly “weird,” including me. (Not that I think I’m going to find love again at age 53!)

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  5. This is a book I’ve wanted to read since before it was published (but the publishers turned me down for an arc. So, I went out and bought it. I really must get around to reading it soon. (Right now my dead tree book is “Kiss Me First” by Lottie Moggach, but this is next on the list.)

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  6. a book I read that gave my my first insight into the spectrum was “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” by Mark Haddon. http://www.amazon.com/The-Curious-Incident-Dog-Night-Time/dp/1400032717.

    Since reading that, I’ve been fascinated by the lighter end of the spectrum because I see that I’ve encountered it fairly often in my life, my line of work, without realizing it at the time. It also gave me insight into my own oddities.

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    • Awesome book. (Incident of the dog in the night time) I haven’t run across the use of the term “spectrum” but I like that it assumes the basic sameness of all of us at the core. I used to say it was “a quantitative difference, not a qualitative one,” and that is what I meant. And the fact that we can say it means we’re not afraid.

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  7. Oh, I just LOVED the Curious Incident book! It was one of those could-not-put-it-downs for me. 🙂

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  8. Sounds like you agree with me on this one. I couldn’t give it more than four stars either. It was nice, “feel good” and fun, but not amazing!

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