Audio Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Audio Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme SimsionThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Published by Simon & Schuster on 10/01/2013
Genres: Contemporary, Humor
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Dan O'Grady
Source: Audible

An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

I think of myself as an eclectic reader.  I read books from almost any genre, and almost any age category.  That said, my taste tends to run strongly towards YA and children’s books.  When I do read an adult book, it tends to be romance, because romance makes me happy.  But every once in a while I’ll pick up an adult book that doesn’t fit into my usual genre preferences (hence the eclectic reader classification).  The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was one such book, and friends, it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in awhile.

Don Tillman is one of the most interesting characters I’ve come across.  He’s incredibly intelligent in the sciences, but he lacks major social skills.  He understands this about himself.  At age 39, he decides he wants to find a wife, but, because he’s had disappointing dates in the past, he comes up with a plan – The Wife Project, which involves a lengthy questionnaire, so Don can weed out all the unacceptables.  But then he meets Rosie, a woman who does not fit his vision of an acceptable wife, but a woman he can’t resist spending time with.

Again, I have to emphasize how amazing a character Don is.  He’s incredibly analytical, which can get in his way of forming strong relationships.  Whenever he meets someone new, he estimates their age and Body Mass Index (BMI).  It’s incredibly funny, but it also really shows the kind of person Don is.  Throughout the novel we learn about Don’s earlier life, which adds so much humor, but also makes you feel so much for Don.  I just wanted Don to have a happy life.

I didn’t think anyone could really compete for my love with Don, but Rosie came darn near close.  She accepts Don for who he is, and learns to like him for his eccentric personality.  I love that she doesn’t take a lot of issue with Don when he continually calls her a Barmaid and expects her intelligence to be well-below his own.  But I also love that Rosie will stand up to Don and help him change his beliefs.  She’s not mean or nasty to him, and I just loved seeing them interact with each other.

The Rosie Project was narrated by Dan O’Grady, and his narration was fantastic.  He made me care about Don all the more, and I fell in love with this book all the more.  He puts just the right amount of emotion and personality into the character of Don.

I loved everything about The Rosie Project, which just reiterates to me the fact that I need to try reading outside my comfort zone more.  If you’re looking for a palate-cleansing book with a unique main character, you must check out The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.  I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  Read it – you won’t be sorry.


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