Author: Graeme Simsion
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: 2013 (original place of publication: Australia)
Genre: Fiction; romantic comedy
Must be punctual, logical, and enjoy travelling by bicycle. No smokers, drinkers, or horoscope readers need apply.
Don Tillman has a brilliant scientific mind, but social situations confound him. He's never had a second date. And so, in the evidence-based manner in which he approaches all things, he embarks upon the Wife Project; a sixteen-page questionnaire to find the perfect partner. Then in walks Rosie Jarman.
Rosie is on a quest of her own. She's looking for her biological father; a search that a certain genetics expert might just be able to help her with. Soon Don puts the Wife Project on the back burner in order to help Rosie purse the Father Project. As an unlikely relationship blooms, Don is about to realize that, despite the best scientific efforts, you don't find love; love finds you.
"I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem. As with so many scientific breakthroughs, the answer was obvious in retrospect. But had it not been for a series of unscheduled events, it is unlikely I would have discovered it." (opening paragraph, page 1)
By page six, I was laughing to the point of tears. On page 24, I commented to my husband, "Oh dear, this book is just too much fun."
My husband was the "captive" recipient of several oral readings from The Rosie Project as we were driving and he was nearby, being the only other person in the vehicle. I just couldn't keep it in and so we shared some laughs during our long drive south and back.
"Claudia advised me that I should have abandoned the experiment prior to Elizabeth leaving. Obviously. But at what point? Where was the signal? These are the subtleties I fail to see.....The Apricot Ice-cream Disaster had cost a whole evening of my life, compensated for only by the information about simulation algorithms."
Professor Don Tillman is a scientist studying the genetic predisposition for cirrhosis of the liver, entailing the intoxication of mice. Don Tillman is not unlike Gregory Peck in appearance but incredibly socially awkward, slow to pick up on social cues, and incredibly similar to Sheldon of The Big Bang Theory. (If you enjoy The Big Bang Theory, you'll love this book, as I do.) He's an adorable nerd, funny in his own way, with limited empathy and uncertain of his ability to learn to love. Yet, he will sacrifice his own career as a professor at a renowned university to help a beautiful lady. A choice he has to ponder at great length to identify his motive.
When Don realizes that his motive for helping Rosie with The Father Project in an after hours unethical investigation utilizing the lab at the university is not purely academic, he finds himself in a world totally foreign to his logical, methodical, systematical self. He scales walls, collects hair samples, bar tends, obtains urine samples..... He even put his own Wife Project on hold to assist Rosie with hers. Aside from the scientific collection and analysis of data, all this is foreign territory to this adorable funny nerd.
The Rosie Project is a charming and disarming exploration of the pursuit of love in a world of algorithms and logic as defined by science that unwittingly turns a man's world upside down in hysterical fashion. If asked to describe The Rosie Project in one word, I would say "tantalizing." For truly it is! I absolutely loved this book.
****With great anticipation, I'm excited to announce a sequel to The Rosie Project: The Rosie Effect - to be released late September 2014. I simply must pre-order my copy. It's the logical thing to do.
About the author:
Graeme Simsion, PhD was the owner of a successful consulting business before he decided, at fifty, that he would become a writer. The Rosie Project is his first novel. Graeme is a New Zealand born Australian author, playwright, screen writer and data modeller. He won the 2012 Victorian Premier's Unpublished Manuscript Award for his debut novel, The Rosie Project.
Twitter: @GraemeSimsion and #ProfDonTillman