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Book DetailsISBN: 9781922079770
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Book Review: Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - Reviewed by CloggieA (30 Jan 2013)
The Rosie Project is the first novel by Australian author and playwright, Graeme Simsion. Professor Don Tillman is unmarried, and a consideration of the statistics leads him to conclude he needs a wife. While Don’s physical attributes and career should make him an attractive prospective husband, his social ineptitude has resulted in a track record of unsatisfactory dating experiences, the Apricot Ice Cream Disaster and the Pig Trotter Disaster being just two examples. He therefore decides to vet applicants for his Wife Project with a 16-page (double-sided) questionnaire, in the interests of efficiency. When Rosie Jarman sweeps into his life, Don quickly concludes that this smoking, swearing barmaid with punctuality problems is entirely unsuitable, yet, against all his rational instincts, he decides to offer his expertise in genetics in the search for her father. Soon his regimented, logical life is turned upside down: Don learns the danger inherent in judging a person by their occupation, and that not everything in life follows a formula. Simsion has created a very funny novel which also has the reader thinking about emotion and logic, love and friendship, conventionality and non-conformists, and what it takes to modify one’s behaviour. This is a fast-paced love story with an interesting twist. Simsion’s characters have plenty of depth and the fact that none of them is perfect adds to their appeal. While Don may be wired differently (mentally assessing the age and BMI of everyone he meets, reacting to stress with a spreadsheet or a schedule), he has integrity, focus, enthusiasm and determination, and it is impossible not to feel empathy with him even while laughing at his missteps. And impossible not to shed a tear when he suspects he is incapable of love and therefore unacceptable. This novel is filled with laugh-out-loud moments: a madcap cocktail party, a dance fiasco and a novel escape from a bathroom, to name just a few. Don’s highly embarrassing moment with an instruction book, a skeleton and the University Dean is utterly hilarious. The irony of Don delivering a lecture on Asperger’s is quite delicious, and who could guess there would be so many inventive ways to obtain a DNA sample! This is a brilliant debut novel. It is no surprise to learn that it won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript in 2012, and that the rights have been sold to over 30 countries. I look forward to more from Graeme Simsion.
Graeme Simsion is a Melbourne-based novelist and screenwriter. The Rosie Project was the 2014 ABIA Book of the Year and has sold over three million copies worldwide. The sequel, The Rosie Effect, is also a bestseller, with worldwide sales of more than a million copies. Graeme's screenplay for The Rosie Project is in development with Sony Pictures and The Best of Adam Sharp is in development with Toni Collette's Vocab Films. Graeme's latest novel is Two Steps Forward, (Oct, 2017) co-written with his wife, Anne Buist.
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