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The Rosie Project
Review by Melinda Elizabeth on 30/11/2014
I think it's important when reading "The Rosie Project" to separate any message regarding autism that you expected the book to spotlight. If you're ok with gratuitous laughs and stereotypes of autism and aspergers, you can laugh at the content. If, like me you're uncomfortable with this mass generalisation, you need to make a decision to read it as a work of fiction, and not expect anything deep and meaningful for the cause.
So having made the decision to take "The Rosie Project" as a an easy dig at symptoms of the above, I was able to enjoy the novel.
The first half of the book had me making comparisons to "Forrest Gump" in terms of the slapstick situations that Don finds himself in that were reminiscent of our other favourite savant, Forrest. Don is a loveable character, and it's easy to determine that there is little malice behind his actions and words, which makes him entirely relatable as a character (and I'm not scared to admit that a lot of his stream of consciousness dialogue reminded me of my own thought processes from time to time).
There is a lot of value in the set ups, and the best books are ones that make you feel so involved with the story that you can't turn the next page because you know it's going to cause shame, embarrassment or sadness for the character. But then again you can't stop yourself and continue on because you're in this with Don.
By the halfway mark in the book I changed my opinion of comparing Don to Forrest, and considered him more of a House MD type but without the snarky, bitter angle that House brings to the tv series. Indeed the correlation between the characters in both continue to stack up - Don's got his BFF/bromance happening with Gene, who schools him on societal norms but is not the best person to be handing out this type of advice (similar to House/Wilson), you've got the overbearing Dean who foils Don's plans (covered by many characters such as Cuddy but also people like Tritter) and you've got the similar love interest with an inability to communicate acceptably, causing shenanigans to occur.
I know others have mentioned that this is a carbon copy of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, but that was never a comparison that came to my mind. Don lacks the geekery that makes Sheldon unique.
The angle that saved "The Rosie Project" from feeling like a rehash and mix up of the various other mediums which have dealt with similar characters in the past is the honest, Australian narrative and down to earth characters.
So my only caveat is don't be too upset by the commercialisation and simplification of autism spectrum disorders, and allow yourself to laugh along with Don as he finds out who he is.
Fun and witty
Review by Meg on 30/09/2014
I have yet to meet someone who hasn't enjoyed this book. Romantic without being sappy, funny without being stupid and surprisingly poignant - Graeme Simsion's Rosie Project is my go-to gift recommendation. Looking forward to the sequel.
Best book for 2014
Review by meredith hilly on 24/07/2014
This truly is a good read. If you like the TV show "Big Bang" this is Sheldon. Love it.