The Rosie project

Graeme C. Simsion

Sound recording - 2013

A socially awkward genetics professor who has never been on a second date sets out to find the perfect wife, but instead finds Rosie Jarman, a fiercely independent barmaid who is on a quest to find her biological father.

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FICTION ON DISC/Simsion, Graeme C.
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Romance fiction
Prince Frederick, MD : Recorded Books p2013.
Main Author
Graeme C. Simsion (-)
Item Description
Title from container.
Physical Description
6 audio discs (approximately 7 hours, 30 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Contents unavailable.
Review by New York Times Review

DON TILLMAN DOESN'T KNOW he has Asperger's syndrome, although his symptoms are obvious to friends and colleagues. He flinches from physical contact and cooks all his meals according to an unvarying schedule; his approach to courtship consists of handing women a detailed questionnaire to test their suitability. It is a convention of romantic comedy that a man's rigidly constrained existence must be disrupted by an impulsive and uninhibited woman, and Graeme Simsion's "Rosie Project," unlike its hero, is resolutely conventional. So along comes Rosie Jarman, "the world's most incompatible woman ... late, vegetarian, disorganized, irrational," with her thick-soled boots and spiky red hair. (An associated convention dictates that this free-spirited heroine must appear to have stepped out of an issue of Sassy from 1994.) Don becomes increasingly involved with Rosie, despite her evident unsuitability for his "Wife Project." (He divides his endeavors into "projects" with capitalized names.) She wants to identify her biological father, and Don, a professor of genetics, offers to help surreptitiously collect and test samples of the candidates' DNA. Forced out of his tightly structured routine by this "Father Project," he finds adventure and, inevitably, love. It's cheering to read about, and root for, a romantic hero with a developmental disorder. "The Rosie Project," Simsion's debut and a best seller in his native Australia, reminds us that people who are neurologically atypical have many of the same concerns as the rest of us: companionship, ethics, alcohol. In fact, Don is a more complex character than he at first appears. What seems to be Asperger's-induced haplessness turns out, at least some of the time, to be a kind of strategic buffoonery. Don's differences are real, but he plays up his eccentricities : he likes to see himself as an independent thinker with too much integrity to make ordinary social and professional compromises. With a light touch, Simsion suggests that Asperger's symptoms can interact, in opaque ways, with human qualities like pride and stubbornness. Don's literal-mindedness can make him an amusing narrator, as when he equably tells us that a date "had chosen a dress with the twin advantages of coolness and overt sexual display." But his insensitivity to the nuances of human speech and behavior sets a limit on the depth of the supporting characters; we see only those traits that are blatant enough to register with Don. (Stronger dialogue would help, as it did in Mark Haddon's "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.") As the DNA investigation unfolds, Rosie's possible fathers blur into a mass of swabbed coffee cups and stolen toothbrushes. "The Rosie Project" is the kind of Panglossian comedy in which everything is foreordained to work out for the best. That's not a genre that can be dismissed entirely - at least not without sacrificing P. G. Wodehouse, which no one should be prepared to do - but it's one that doesn't comfortably accommodate things like autism spectrum disorders. Halfway through the book, Don describes "the awkwardness, approaching revulsion, that I feel when forced into intimate contact with another human." This would seem to be an obstacle to his and Rosie's happiness - a greater obstacle, perhaps, than her low score on his compatibility questionnaire. Simsion waves the problem away in a post hoc last chapter. The ultimate convention of romantic comedy is that love conquers all, but to propose that it can so easily mitigate such a painful condition may be to take convention too far. GABRIEL ROTH is the author of the novel "The Unknowns."

Copyright (c) The New York Times Company [October 27, 2013]
Review by Library Journal Review

Don Tillman-geneticist, rule follower, and habitual BMI estimator-is well aware that his grasp on the nuances of social inter-action is weak at best. His attempts at dating have always ended in disaster. At the age of 39, Don begins the Wife Project, a questionnaire-driven effort that he hopes will filter out all unsuitable candidates and help him find his ideal partner. Enter Rosie Jarman, a woman who wants Don's help on a project of her own: finding her biological father. Don soon determines that the unpredictable Rosie is completely unsuitable as a Wife Project candidate. However, her ongoing presence in his life complicates it enormously, changing his outlook on the behaviors he's always used to get along in a world that finds him difficult to understand. In learning to empathize with Rosie, Don finds that he also has a surprising capacity for love. Narrator Dan O'Grady captures Don's detached and analytical tone while infusing the dialog with genuine warmth and humor as Don and Rosie's screwball romance progresses. Verdict Fans of the Aussie accent will swoon; fans of Simsion's debut will be glad to know there's a sequel in the works.-Anna -Mickelsen, Springfield City Lib., MA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Don Tillman, speed dating... 'I've sequenced the questions for maximum speed of elimination,' I explained to Frances. 'I believe I can eliminate most women in less than forty seconds. Then you can choose the topic of discussion for the remaining time.' 'But then it won't matter,' said Frances. 'I'll have been eliminated.' 'Only as a potential partner. We may still be able to have an interesting discussion.' 'But I'll have been eliminated,' repeated Frances. I nodded. 'Do you smoke?' 'Occasionally,' she said. I put the questionnaire away. Excerpted from The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.