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Fun,
Insightful,
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28 reviews

The Rosie Project: A Novel (Don Tillman Book 1)
by Graeme Simsion

Published: 2014-06-03
Paperback : 295 pages
146 members reading this now
174 clubs reading this now
127 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 26 of 28 members
Now in paperback, the international bestselling romantic comedy “bursting with warmth, emotional depth, and…humor,” (Entertainment Weekly) featuring the oddly charming, socially challenged genetics professor, Don, as he seeks true love.

The art of love is never a science: Meet Don ...
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Introduction

Now in paperback, the international bestselling romantic comedy “bursting with warmth, emotional depth, and…humor,” (Entertainment Weekly) featuring the oddly charming, socially challenged genetics professor, Don, as he seeks true love.

The art of love is never a science: Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.

Rosie Jarman possesses all these qualities. Don easily disqualifies her as a candidate for The Wife Project (even if she is “quite intelligent for a barmaid”). But Don is intrigued by Rosie’s own quest to identify her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on The Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie?and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.

Arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, Graeme Simsion’s distinctive debut “navigates the choppy waters of adult relationships, both romantic and platonic, with a fresh take (USA TODAY). “Filled with humor and plenty of heart, The Rosie Project is a delightful reminder that all of us, no matter how we’re wired, just want to fit in” (Chicago Tribune).

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2013: Full of heart and humor, Simsion’s debut novel about a fussy, socially-challenged man’s search for the perfect wife is smart, breezy, quirky, and fun. Sure, it’s the precise equivalent of a well-crafted romantic comedy. (In fact, the book was clearly written with the big-screen in mind, and the film rights have already been sold). But you’d have to be a pretty cynical reader not to fall for Don Tillman, a handsome genetics professor who has crafted a pathologically micromanaged life for himself but can’t seem to score a second date. After launching his Wife Project, which includes a hilarious questionnaire intended to weed out imperfect candidates--smokers, makeup wearers, vegans (“incredibly annoying”)--Don meets Rosie, a stunning, maddeningly disorganized bartender/student who’s looking for her biological father. The reader knows just where the story is headed: Rosie’s so wrong for Don, she’s perfect. That’s not giving anything away. Half the fun of the book is watching pent-up, Asperger’s-afflicted Don break free, thanks to Rosie, from his precisely controlled, annoyingly sensible, and largely humorless lifestyle. By the final third, you’re cheering for Don to shatter all his rules. And you’re casting the film. --Neal Thompson

Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

1. Do Don’s Asperger’s conditions help him or hinder him? Does Don’s having Autism offer any advantages in his life?
2. Don goes through a number of spectacularly bad dates. What have been some of your own dating nightmares?
3. Where do you fall on the spectrum between structure and chaos in life? Are you highly rigid in your routines or very relaxed?
4. Do you agree with Don’s assessment that “humans often fail to see what is close to them and obvious to others”? (p. 88)
5. What do you think of Gene and Claudia’s relationship? Do you know anyone in an open marriage? Can it work?
6. Don says that the happiest day of his life was spent at the Museum of Natural History. Do you have a happiest day of your life? Or is there a special place where you are happiest?
7. As Don’s affection for Rosie grows, he becomes aware of his instincts overriding reason. What is the role of instinct versus reason when it comes to choosing a life partner?
8. Do you have anyone on the Autism spectrum in your life?
9. Don watches a number of movies to try to learn about romance, including When Harry Met Sally, The Bridges of Madison County, An Affair to Remember, and Hitch. What are your top five romantic movies?
10. Have you ever had a moment of breaking out of your routine and opening up in a significant way? Or has someone broken through your routine for you?
11. Is it smart to have a list of criteria for a potential partner or is it limiting?
12. Don gets in trouble with the dean for using the genetics lab for his personal project with Rosie. Is it ever okay to break the rules in order to help someone?
13. Do you feel happy for Don when he “eliminates a number of unconventional mannerisms” (p. 268) in order to win Rosie, or has he lost something?
14. Does Gene get his comeuppance?
15. Were you surprised at the ultimate revelation of Rosie’s biological father? Did you suspect someone else?

Suggested by Members

What Hollywood stars would play the role of Don and Rosie?
Do you think that the flexibility shown by Don is realistic?
by commtexx (see profile) 04/19/16

Aspergers is a spectrum disorder of Autism and how it is affecting people in this country.
The different socially accepted ways that have affected how people now view dating.
by smokey1 (see profile) 02/19/16

How does Don compare to Sheldon Cooper of the Big Bang Theory TV show?
Is this a funny story or not? (Based on your experience with someone with Asperger.)
Review what Don learned from the The Rosie Project and how he changed as a result of it.
by mrblock (see profile) 12/22/15

Do you agree with Don’s assessment that “humans often fail to see what is close to them and obvious to others”? (p. 88)
Is it smart to have a list of criteria for a potential partner or is it limiting?
Do you have anyone on the Autism spectrum in your life?
by laurelh9 (see profile) 09/29/15

What did you know about Asperger's syndrome before reading the book? What did you learn?
by carolkaskin (see profile) 08/13/15

Do you think Don and Rosie stayed together long term? What kind of issues do you think would arise as they lived together?
by mcomai (see profile) 05/13/15

Late in the book Claudia drops hints that there are problems in her marriage. Did you see other instances that made you realize she was unhappy? Have you been in a friendship with someone who has offered advice that really sounded like introspect?
by ccroft78248 (see profile) 04/27/15

Did you guess who the father was?
Did you like the ending?
Will you be reading the follow up book?
by Mama_B (see profile) 03/30/15

We followed the book discussion questions.
by SharVes (see profile) 10/28/14

Why are we seeing more people diagnosed with autism in recent years?
When did you become fam
by mblough (see profile) 10/11/14

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

NPR

An utterly winning screwball comedy...If you're looking for sparkling entertainment along the lines of Where'd You Go Bernadette and When Harry Met Sally, The Rosie Project is this season's fix."

San Franciscio Chronicle

"Sometimes you just need a smart love story that will make anyone, man or woman, laugh out loud."

Entertainment Weekly

"Move over Sheldon Cooper. There's a brilliant, socially inept scientist poised to win over a huge audience, and his name is Don Tillman...this rom-com is bursting with warmth, emotional depth, and intentional humor." (A-)

USA Today

“Simsion's attention to detail brings to life Don's wonderful, weird world. Instead of using Don's Asperger's syndrome as a fault, or a lead into a tragic turn of events, Simsion creates a heartwarming story of an extraordinary man learning to live in an ordinary world, and to love. As Don would say, this book is ‘great fun.’”

NPR.org - Heller McAlpin

“If you're looking for sparkling entertainment along the lines of Where'd You Go Bernadette and When Harry Met Sally, The Rosie Project is this season's fix.”

The Washington Post

“The hype is justified. Australian Graeme Simsion has written a genuinely funny novel.”

Booklist (Starred Review)

“Funny, touching, and hard to put down, The Rosie Project is certain to entertain even as readers delve into deep themes. For a book about a logic-based quest for love, it has a lot of heart….[an] immensely enjoyable novel.”

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