The Rosie Project

Graeme Simsion. Simon & Schuster, $24 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4767-2908-4
Read-out-loud laughter begins by page two in Simsion’s debut novel about a 39-year-old genetics professor with Asperger’s—but utterly unaware of it—looking to solve his Wife Problem. Don Tillman cannot find love; episodes like the Apricot Ice Cream Disaster prevent so much as a second date with a woman. His devised solution is the Wife Project: dating only those who “match” his idiosyncratic standards as determined by an exacting questionnaire. His plans take a backseat when he meets Rosie, a bartender who wants him to help her determine her birth father’s identity. His rigidity and myopic worldview prevents him from seeing her as a possible love interest, but he nonetheless agrees to help, even though it involves subterfuge and might jeopardize his position at the university. What follows are his utterly clueless, but more often thoroughly charming exploits in exploring his capacity for romance. Helping Tillman are his only two friends, an older, shamelessly philandering professor, and the professor’s long-suffering wife, who may soon draw the line in the sand. With Asperger’s growing visibility in pop culture in recent years, as on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, this novel is perfectly timed. Agent: David Forrer, Inkwell Management. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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