Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The cover doesn't lie. This really is a very compulsive read.
Told from a very different pov, "The Rosie Project" had everything to be a five star read... at least to me.

Don Tillman with his very logical and straight forward mental processes makes for a very original and interesting character.
The thing is, Don  being a character with some autistic or Asperger's traits there are moments, phrases, scenes in the plot that don't add up.
If you check wikipedia for some basic Asperger traits, this is what will appear:

Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger disorder (AD) or simply Asperger's, is an autism spectrumdisorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical (peculiar, odd) use of language are frequently reported.[1][2]

But from a certain point the plot starts to take a route where it is implied that Don's peculiarities (which up until that point had been associated with Asperger) can be altered...
Just because he wants to. Just like that, in the blink of an eye.

Okay... people with  problems regarding social interaction do not change like that, just because they've fallen in love. It's not feasible.

People's habits most of the time are set in stone. And the stress that it causes to try to change them is sometimes impossible to overcome. 

For me, I believe that this plot would have gained if had been told in a more bitter-sweet tone. I feel that it would have made it more realistic.

Look, I like humour as much as the next person. But for me, it can't cross the barrier into "stand up comedy humour", you know?
"Stand up comedy" is all very well in TV series and the like, but when I find it in books it basically ruins the book for me. So yes, there were some moments that felt a little exaggerated to me.

If the author was only talking about a quirky character with some odd peculiarities, all would be well.
But when one starts to enter the domain of mental health things aren't so straightforward as the author would like us to believe.

Bottom Line:
The writing was very smooth and fluid.
An interesting concept which, for me, could have been more interesting if it hadn't been so stretched in certain parts (Don started the wife project, then he passed to the father project, and finally to the Rosie project... it was too much)
Don was a great character. He's really the soul of the story.
Rosie could have been more fleshed out... but she ended being better than I though she would be, considering the way she was portrayed at the start.

Gene and Claudia were also interesting as secondary characters. Although, I have to say this:
Claudia, had she been written by a woman, would have "boiled" Gene's rabbit... capice??
There's no way she would have put up with his mid-life crisis!!!

Then the way the story ended could have been less "romantic comedy" oriented. It was a little too... sugared... o_O
But all in all, I liked reading it!
I'm just a little frustrated, because I know I could really have loved it!!

Buy "The Rosie Project"

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