The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, published October 2013 by Penguin.
Read: March 2014.
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: Meet Don Tillman. Don is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet. But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. One thing he already knows, though, is that it’s not Rosie. Absolutely, completely, definitely not.
OK, so here’s the thing, if you have ever watched a TV show called The Big Bang Theory it is really difficult not to make comparisons between Don Tillman and a little-known character called Sheldon Cooper. Really difficult.
I love The Big Bang Theory so you can imagine how often Dr. Cooper was in my thoughts as I was reading about Don and his lack of social skills… At times it almost felt like Sheldon was the inspiration behind Don and that could be a little distracting from the story-line (only likely to occur to Big Bang fans and not the population in general).
I loved the writing style in this novel, and the story was really well executed (at times you could just feel the social awkward-ness and tension). Simsion has created some really well-developed and interesting characters, I laughed out loud quite a bit and was hooked by the story-line from the start. I also liked the fact the story is set in Australia – most novels I read are either based in the UK or the US, and I realised that I haven’t read a lot of stories that are set elsewhere (strangely though the characters didn’t have Australian accents in my head…). While there are obvious romantic undertones in this novel I wouldn’t necessarily call it a rom-com or even chick-lit. I found the viewpoint of a male protagonist to be really intriguing and there were other elements to the story regarding Don’s personality (I don’t want to spoil anything!) that, yes made it a romantic novel, but with a bit more depth.
I don’t think I enjoyed this book quite as much as I was expecting to, and I do think the Sheldon comparison was just a little off-putting (when you love Big Bang Theory as much as I do the wee Sheldon in your head just won’t go away!). However, it was a funny and enjoyable read, and I would definitely try Graeme Simsion’s work in the future. I haven’t decided just yet if this book is a “keeper” (keepers go on my bookshelf permanently and may even get a reread) or if it will find a new home…
I think it is really challenging to accurately portray Don’s type of personality and the humorous situations he finds himself in through the written word, though The Rosie Project does a great job and is a very enjoyable read, it is easy to see why this style has been received so well through television as the medium (yes, yes, I’m referring to Big Bang again!). There are rumours of a screenplay in the works for The Rosie Project and it will be interesting to see how this book is adapted to a movie, I think it could either be spot-on and really enhance the story for the fans, or it could be painfully awkward if the essence of Don and Rosie aren’t captured carefully.