The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion reads like a version of Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. Sometimes, it reminded me of Shaun Murphy from the Good Doctor. And while I have seen some negative reviews, such content feels educative about people with neurological disorders.  


I know and understand that all individuals on the spectrum are not the same. But, just having a glimpse of one’s life through such creative works creates some knowledge for neurotypical people. 


Now, back to the book. I absolutely loved it, from the narration to the characters and the tone. Meet Don Tillman, a university professor. It is not clear whether he has Asperger’s Syndrome. 


Don has a new project, looking for a wife. He’d prefer someone who meets certain conditions; they don’t believe in astrology, homeopathy, are not vegans, can keep time, and does not smoke, among others.  


“How can you tell if someone is a vegan? Just wait ten minutes and they’ll tell you.”

― Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project


He sends out a detailed, double-sided 16-page questionnaire, gets responses, and even goes on dates with some of the individuals he narrows down to. But, unfortunately, it never goes well. All these people seem to meet all his needs on paper. But Don realizes that the only person who makes him happy is the opposite side of the scale. Totally way off.  


Meet Rosie, who is termed as a bare bartender. But as the story unfolds, you realize that she is intelligent in her own way. The difference is that she is a carefree and open soul, if I may say so. 


And this brings me back to The Big Bang Theory and The Good Doctor. Rosie’s character reminds me of Penny and Lea, respectively. These are neurotypical characters who end up in the lives of characters with neurological disorders, and they love them for who they are and transform their lives. 


The tone and narration will also keep you glued to the book. Don is brutally honest about his life and experiences. Some are sad, but he manages to make you laugh. His whole experience opens him and the reader to the fact that while people with neurological disorders seem odd to neurotypical people, we are all the same. It is just that our systems are wired differently. 


We all experience love and such emotions. And only if we take the time to know people, not just judging them from the surface, can we truly understand them, their behaviors, and the reasons behind their actions. 


Someone might not be as empathetic or emotional as you, but they experience these emotions differently. Perhaps even at a higher level such that it overwhelms them and they need time off to decompress. 


“You’re unbelievable,’ said Rosie. ‘Look at me when I’m talking.’

I kept looking out the window. I was already over-stimulated.

‘I know what you look like.”

― Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project


And that’s why I’d recommend this to anyone who hasn’t read it. I am off to shop for the sequels. 


PS: If you are looking for books as hilarious as this one, give A Man Called Ove, and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine a try. 



My ★ Rating 4.5

Goodreads ★ Rating 4.38 (as of November 2021)

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