BN.com Gift Guide

The Rosie Project

( 279 )

Overview

THE ART OF LOVE IS NEVER A SCIENCE

MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.

Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$17.20
BN.com price
(Save 28%)$24.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (45) from $2.47   
  • New (19) from $3.81   
  • Used (26) from $2.46   
The Rosie Project: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$8.99
BN.com price
(Save 22%)$11.65 List Price

Overview

THE ART OF LOVE IS NEVER A SCIENCE

MEET DON TILLMAN, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.

Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.

Arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, Graeme Simsion’s distinctive debut will resonate with anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of great challenges. The Rosie Project is a rare find: a book that restores our optimism in the power of human connection.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
USA Today
“Simsion's attention to detail brings to life Don's wonderful, weird world. Instead of using Don's Asperger's syndrome as a fault, or a lead into a tragic turn of events, Simsion creates a heartwarming story of an extraordinary man learning to live in an ordinary world, and to love. As Don would say, this book is ‘great fun.’”
NPR.org - Heller McAlpin
“If you're looking for sparkling entertainment along the lines of Where'd You Go Bernadette and When Harry Met Sally, The Rosie Project is this season's fix.”
The Washington Post
“The hype is justified. Australian Graeme Simsion has written a genuinely funny novel.”
Booklist (Starred Review)

“Funny, touching, and hard to put down, The Rosie Project is certain to entertain even as readers delve into deep themes. For a book about a logic-based quest for love, it has a lot of heart….[an] immensely enjoyable novel.”
Jojo Moyes
"Graeme Simsion has achieved the impossible and created an entirely new kind of romantic hero. I wanted to race through The Rosie Project, but had to make myself slow down from my usual reading pace, because of the number of sly jokes that I almost missed. A lovely, original, and very funny read."
Sophie Kinsella
“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s one of the most quirky and endearing romances I’ve ever read. I laughed the whole way through. And now I want to meet Don!"
Booklist
“Funny, touching, and hard to put down, The Rosie Project is certain to entertain even as readers delve into deep themes. For a book about a logic-based quest for love, it has a lot of heart….[an] immensely enjoyable novel.”
Wall Street Journal
“One of the year’s most promising and original novelists.”
BookReporter.com
“It’s the kind of book that makes you smile as you read it—and laugh—and it’s also wickedly clever…A total rave!”
Lisa Genova
"Graeme Simsion has created an unforgettable and charming character unique in fiction. Don Tillman is on a quirky, often hilarious, always sincere quest to logically discover what is ultimately illogical—love. Written in a superbly pitch-perfect voice, The Rosie Project had me cheering for Don on every page. I’m madly in love with this book! Trust me, you will be, too."
Ayelet Waldman
"With the demands of children and work, it's rare that I find myself so caught up in a novel that I literally cannot put it down — not for food, nor for conversation, nor even for sleep. Charming and delightful, I was so enamored of The Rosie Project that I read it in a single, marathon sitting."
John Boyne
"Although there are many laughs to be found in this marvelous novel, The Rosie Project is a serious reflection on our need for companionship and identity. Don Tillman is as awkward and confusing a narrator as he is lovable and charming."
Marian Keyes
"Charming, funny and heartwarming, a gem of a book."
Adriana Trigiani
“A world so original, in a story so compelling, I defy you not to read through the night. Read this glorious novel now, in the moment, where it lives."
Kristin Hannah
"The Rosie Project is the best, most honestly told love story I've read in a long time."
Chris Cleave
"The Rosie Project is an upbeat, quirky, impertinent gem of a read. As the novel makes its logically irrefutable progression, readers will become enchanted by what may well be the world’s first rigorously evidence-based romantic comedy."
Maggie Shipstead
"This clever and joyful book charmed me from the first. Professor Tillman is an unlikely romantic hero but a brave, winning soul, and his quest to find a wife goes to show that rationality is no match for love."
Matthew Quick
"Don Tillman helps us believe in possibility, makes us proud to be human beings, and the bonus is this: he keeps us laughing like hell."
Lisa Genova
"Graeme Simsion has created an unforgettable and charming character unique in fiction. Don Tillman is on a quirky, often hilarious, always sincere quest to logically discover what is ultimately illogical—love. Written in a superbly pitch-perfect voice, The Rosie Project had me cheering for Don on every page. I’m madly in love with this book! Trust me, you will be, too."
Ayelet Waldman
"With the demands of children and work, it's rare that I find myself so caught up in a novel that I literally cannot put it down — not for food, nor for conversation, nor even for sleep. Charming and delightful,I was so enamored of The Rosie Project that I read it in a single, marathon sitting."
John Boyne
"Although there are many laughs to be found in this marvelousnovel, The Rosie Project is a serious reflection on our need forcompanionship and identity. Don Tillman is as awkward and confusing a narrator as he is lovable and charming."
Sophie Kinsella
“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s one of the most quirky and endearing romances I’ve ever read. I laughed the whole way through. And now I want to meet Don!"
Entertainment Weekly
“Move over, Sheldon Cooper. There's a new brilliant, socially inept scientist poised to win over a huge audience, and his name is Don Tillman, in The Rosie Project….It's not surprising that debut novelist Graeme Simsion has a background in science —The Rosie Project, already a success in Australia, seems almost precision-engineered to keep readers turning pages. But unlike its unexpectedly lovable hero, this rom-com is bursting with warmth, emotional depth, and intentional humor.” (A-)
Adriana Trigiani
“A world so original, in a story so compelling, I defy you not to read through the night. Read this glorious novel now, in the moment, where it lives."
Kristin Hannah
"TheRosie Project isthe best, most honestly told love story I've read in a long time."
Chris Cleave
"The Rosie Project is an upbeat, quirky, impertinent gem of a read. As the novel makes its logically irrefutable progression, readers will become enchanted by what may well be the world’s first rigorously evidence-based romantic comedy."
From the Publisher
“A world so original, in a story so compelling, I defy you not to read through the night. Read this glorious novel now, in the moment, where it lives."

"Don Tillman helps us believe in possibility, makes us proud to be human beings, and the bonus is this: he keeps us laughing like hell."

"The Rosie Project is the best, most honestly told love story I've read in a long time."

"The Rosie Project is an upbeat, quirky, impertinent gem of a read. As the novel makes its logically irrefutable progression, readers will become enchanted by what may well be the world’s first rigorously evidence-based romantic comedy."

"This clever and joyful book charmed me from the first. Professor Tillman is an unlikely romantic hero but a brave, winning soul, and his quest to find a wife goes to show that rationality is no match for love."

"Graeme Simsion has created an unforgettable and charming character unique in fiction. Don Tillman is on a quirky, often hilarious, always sincere quest to logically discover what is ultimately illogical—love. Written in a superbly pitch-perfect voice, The Rosie Project had me cheering for Don on every page. I’m madly in love with this book! Trust me, you will be, too."

"With the demands of children and work, it's rare that I find myself so caught up in a novel that I literally cannot put it down — not for food, nor for conversation, nor even for sleep. Charming and delightful, I was so enamored of The Rosie Project that I read it in a single, marathon sitting."

"Although there are many laughs to be found in this marvelous novel, The Rosie Project is a serious reflection on our need for companionship and identity. Don Tillman is as awkward and confusing a narrator as he is lovable and charming."

"Charming, funny and heartwarming, a gem of a book."

Kirkus Reviews
Polished debut fiction, from Australian author Simsion, about a brilliant but emotionally challenged geneticist who develops a questionnaire to screen potential mates but finds love instead. The book won the 2012 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. "I became aware of applause. It seemed natural. I had been living in the world of romantic comedy and this was the final scene. But it was real." So Don Tillman, our perfectly imperfect narrator and protagonist, tells us. While he makes this observation near the end of the book, it comes as no surprise--this story plays the rom-com card from the first sentence. Don is challenged, almost robotic. He cannot understand social cues, barely feels emotion and can't stand to be touched. Don's best friends are Gene and Claudia, psychologists. Gene brought Don as a postdoc to the prestigious university where he is now an associate professor. Gene is a cad, a philanderer who chooses women based on nationality--he aims to sleep with a woman from every country. Claudia is tolerant until she's not. Gene sends Rosie, a graduate student in his department, to Don as a joke, a ringer for the Wife Project. Finding her woefully unsuitable, Don agrees to help the beautiful but fragile Rosie to learn the identity of her biological father. Pursuing this Father Project, Rosie and Don collide like particles in an atom smasher: hilarity, dismay and carbonated hormones ensue. The story lurches from one set piece of deadpan nudge-nudge, wink-wink humor to another: We laugh at, and with, Don as he tries to navigate our hopelessly emotional, nonliteral world, learning as he goes. Simsion can plot a story, set a scene, write a sentence, finesse a detail. A pity more popular fiction isn't this well-written. If you liked Australian author Toni Jordan's Addition (2009), with its math-obsessed, quirky heroine, this book is for you. A sparkling, laugh-out-loud novel.
NPR
An utterly winning screwball comedy...If you're looking for sparkling entertainment along the lines of Where'd You Go Bernadette and When Harry Met Sally, The Rosie Project is this season's fix."
San Franciscio Chronicle
"Sometimes you just need a smart love story that will make anyone, man or woman, laugh out loud."
From the Publisher
“Sometimes you just need a smart love story that will make anyone, man or woman, laugh out loud.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Move over, Sheldon Cooper. There’s a new brilliant, socially inept scientist poised to win over a huge audience, and his name is Don Tillman, in The Rosie Project. . . . It’s not surprising that debut novelist Graeme Simsion has a background in science—The Rosie Project, already a success in Australia, seems almost precision engineered to keep readers turning pages. But unlike its unexpectedly lovable hero, this rom-com is bursting with warmth, emotional depth, and intentional humor.” (A–)
Entertainment Weekly

“It’s natural to be wary of a novel that’s been the target of such gushy praise. Publishers in at least thirty-eight countries have snapped up the rights to The Rosie Project, which has been touted as a ‘publishing phenomenon,’ an ‘international sensation’ and no less than ‘the feel-good hit of 2013.’ Well, squelch your inner cynic: the hype is justified. Australian Graeme Simsion has written a genuinely funny novel. . . . This is classic rom-com.”
The Washington Post

“Simsion’s attention to detail brings to life Don’s wonderful, weird world. Instead of using Don’s Asperger’s syndrome as a fault, or a lead-in to a tragic turn of events, Simsion creates a heartwarming story of an extraordinary man learning to live in an ordinary world, and to love. As Don would say, this book is ‘great fun.’”
USA Today

“An utterly winning screwball comedy. . . . If you’re looking for sparkling entertainment along the lines of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and When Harry Met Sally, The Rosie Project is this season’s fix. . . . This charming, warmhearted escapade, which celebrates the havoc—and pleasure—emotions can unleash, offers amusement aplenty. Sharp dialogue, terrific pacing, physical hijinks, slapstick, a couple to root for, and more twists than a pack of Twizzlers—it’s no surprise that The Rosie Project is bound for the big screen. But read it first.”
—NPR.org

“Filled with humor and plenty of heart, The Rosie Project is a delightful reminder that all of us, no matter how we’re wired, just want to fit in.”
Chicago Tribune

“One of the year’s most promising and original novelists.”
The Wall Street Journal

The Rosie Project opens as strongly as any comic novel I’ve read in a long time. . . . The book roars at high speed to its conclusion. . . . A highfunctioning but emotionally illiterate guy like Don makes a perfect unreliable narrator. . . . Happily, Simsion doesn’t give Don an unbelievable emotional makeover. Our man just learns to live by a more complicated algorithm.”
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

“Funny, touching, and hard to put down, The Rosie Project is certain to entertain even as readers delve into deep themes. For a book about a logic-based quest for love, it has a lot of heart. . . . [an] immensely enjoyable novel.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Read-out-loud laughter begins by page two in Simsion’s debut novel about a thirty-nine-year-old genetics professor with Asperger’s—but utterly unaware of it—looking to solve his Wife Problem. . . . What follows are his utterly clueless but more often thoroughly charming exploits in exploring his capacity for romance. . . . This novel is perfectly timed.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Polished debut fiction. . . . Simsion can plot a story, set a scene, write a sentence, finesse a detail. A pity more popular fiction isn’t this well written. . . . A sparkling, laugh-out-loud novel.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[A] bright, whip-snappingly funny romantic comedy. . . . Readers, too, will push eagerly through the narrative, and at the end they’ll have one thought: thank goodness there’s a sequel.”
Library Journal

“Don Tillman helps us believe in possibility, makes us proud to be human beings, and the bonus is this: he keeps us laughing like hell.”
—Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook

The Rosie Project is the best, most honestly told love story I’ve read in a long time.”
—Kristin Hannah, author of Fly Away and Home Front

“A world so original, in a story so compelling, I defy you not to read through the night. Read this glorious novel now, in the moment, where it lives.”
—Adriana Trigiani, author of The Shoemaker’s Wife

The Rosie Project is an upbeat, quirky, impertinent gem of a read. As the novel makes its logically irrefutable progression, readers will become enchanted by what may well be the world’s first rigorously evidence-based romantic comedy.”
—Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee and Gold

“This clever and joyful book charmed me from the first. Professor Tillman is an unlikely romantic hero but a brave, winning soul, and his quest to find a wife goes to show that rationality is no match for love.”
—Maggie Shipstead, author of Seating Arrangements

“Graeme Simsion has created an unforgettable and charming character unique in fiction. Don Tillman is on a quirky, often hilarious, always sincere quest to logically discover what is ultimately illogical—love. Written in a superbly pitch-perfect voice, The Rosie Project had me cheering for Don on every page. I’m madly in love with this book! Trust me, you will be, too.”
—Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice and Left Neglected

“With the demands of children and work, it’s rare that I find myself so caught up in a novel that I literally cannot put it down—not for food nor for conversation nor even for sleep. Charming and delightful, I was so enamored of The Rosie Project that I read it in a single, marathon sitting.”
—Ayelet Waldman, author of Red Hook Road, Bad Mother, and Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

“Although there are many laughs to be found in this marvelous novel, The Rosie Project is a serious reflection on our need for companionship and identity. Don Tillman is as awkward and confusing a narrator as he is lovable and charming.”
—John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

“Charming, funny, and heartwarming, a gem of a book.”
—Marian Keyes, author of The Brightest Star in the Sky and This Charming Man

“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s one of the most quirky and endearing romances I’ve ever read. I laughed the whole way through. And now I want to meet Don!”
—Sophie Kinsella, author of the Shopaholic series and Wedding Night

“I wanted to race through The Rosie Project but had to make myself slow down from my usual reading pace, because of the number of sly jokes that I almost missed. A lovely, original, and very funny read.”
—Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You

Entertainment Weekly
"Move over Sheldon Cooper. There's a brilliant, socially inept scientist poised to win over a huge audience, and his name is Don Tillman...this rom-com is bursting with warmth, emotional depth, and intentional humor." (A-)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476729084
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 104,835
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Graeme Simsion is a former IT consultant and the author of two nonfiction books on database design who decided at the age of fifty to turn his hand to fiction. The Rosie Project is his first novel and his screen adaption has been optioned by Sony Pictures. Graeme lives in Australia with his wife, Anne, and their two children, and is currently working on a sequel to The Rosie Project.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

The Rosie Project

one


I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem. As with so many scientific breakthroughs, the answer was obvious in retrospect. But had it not been for a series of unscheduled events, it is unlikely I would have discovered it.

The sequence was initiated by Gene’s insisting I give a lecture on Asperger’s syndrome that he had previously agreed to deliver himself. The timing was extremely annoying. The preparation could be time-shared with lunch consumption, but on the designated evening I had scheduled ninety-four minutes to clean my bathroom. I was faced with a choice of three options, none of them satisfactory.

1. Cleaning the bathroom after the lecture, resulting in loss of sleep with a consequent reduction in mental and physical performance.

2. Rescheduling the cleaning until the following Tuesday, resulting in an eight-day period of compromised bathroom hygiene and consequent risk of disease.

3. Refusing to deliver the lecture, resulting in damage to my friendship with Gene.

I presented the dilemma to Gene, who, as usual, had an alternative solution.

“Don, I’ll pay for someone to clean your bathroom.”

I explained to Gene—again—that all cleaners, with the possible exception of the Hungarian woman with the short skirt, made errors. Short-Skirt Woman, who had been Gene’s cleaner, had disappeared following some problem with Gene and Claudia.

“I’ll give you Eva’s mobile number. Just don’t mention me.”

“What if she asks? How can I answer without mentioning you?”

“Just say you’re contacting her because she’s the only cleaner who does it properly. And if she mentions me, say nothing.”

This was an excellent outcome, and an illustration of Gene’s ability to find solutions to social problems. Eva would enjoy having her competence recognized and might even be suitable for a permanent role, which would free up an average of 316 minutes per week in my schedule.

Gene’s lecture problem had arisen because he had an opportunity to have sex with a Chilean academic who was visiting Melbourne for a conference. Gene has a project to have sex with women of as many different nationalities as possible. As a professor of psychology, he is extremely interested in human sexual attraction, which he believes is largely genetically determined.

This belief is consistent with Gene’s background as a geneticist. Sixty-eight days after Gene hired me as a postdoctoral researcher, he was promoted to head of the Psychology Department, a highly controversial appointment that was intended to establish the university as the Australian leader in evolutionary psychology and increase its public profile.

During the time we worked concurrently in the Genetics Department, we had numerous interesting discussions, and these continued after his change of position. I would have been satisfied with our relationship for this reason alone, but Gene also invited me to dinner at his house and performed other friendship rituals, resulting in a social relationship. His wife, Claudia, who is a clinical psychologist, is now also a friend. Making a total of two.

Gene and Claudia tried for a while to assist me with the Wife Problem. Unfortunately, their approach was based on the traditional dating paradigm, which I had previously abandoned on the basis that the probability of success did not justify the effort and negative experiences. I am thirty-nine years old, tall, fit, and intelligent, with a relatively high status and above-average income as an associate professor. Logically, I should be attractive to a wide range of women. In the animal kingdom, I would succeed in reproducing.

However, there is something about me that women find unappealing. I have never found it easy to make friends, and it seems that the deficiencies that caused this problem have also affected my attempts at romantic relationships. The Apricot Ice Cream Disaster is a good example.

Claudia had introduced me to one of her many friends. Elizabeth was a highly intelligent computer scientist, with a vision problem that had been corrected with glasses. I mention the glasses because Claudia showed me a photograph and asked me if I was okay with them. An incredible question! From a psychologist! In evaluating Elizabeth’s suitability as a potential partner—someone to provide intellectual stimulation, to share activities with, perhaps even to breed with—Claudia’s first concern was my reaction to her choice of glasses frames, which was probably not even her own but the result of advice from an optometrist. This is the world I have to live in. Then Claudia told me, as though it was a problem, “She has very firm ideas.”

“Are they evidence-based?”

“I guess so,” Claudia said.

Perfect. She could have been describing me.

We met at a Thai restaurant. Restaurants are minefields for the socially inept, and I was nervous as always in these situations. But we got off to an excellent start when we both arrived at exactly 7:00 p.m. as arranged. Poor synchronization is a huge waste of time.

We survived the meal without her criticizing me for any social errors. It is difficult to conduct a conversation while wondering whether you are looking at the correct body part, but I locked on to her bespectacled eyes, as recommended by Gene. This resulted in some inaccuracy in the eating process, which she did not seem to notice. On the contrary, we had a highly productive discussion about simulation algorithms. She was so interesting! I could already see the possibility of a permanent relationship.

The waiter brought the dessert menus and Elizabeth said, “I don’t like Asian desserts.”

This was almost certainly an unsound generalization, based on limited experience, and perhaps I should have recognized it as a warning sign. But it provided me with an opportunity for a creative suggestion.

“We could get an ice cream across the road.”

“Great idea. As long as they’ve got apricot.”

I assessed that I was progressing well at this point and did not think the apricot preference would be a problem. I was wrong. The ice-cream parlor had a vast selection of flavors, but they had exhausted their supply of apricot. I ordered a chocolate chili and licorice double cone for myself and asked Elizabeth to nominate her second preference.

“If they haven’t got apricot, I’ll pass.”

I couldn’t believe it. All ice cream tastes essentially the same, owing to chilling of the taste buds. This is especially true of fruit flavors. I suggested mango.

“No thanks, I’m fine.”

I explained the physiology of taste bud chilling in some detail. I predicted that if I purchased a mango and a peach ice cream, she would be incapable of differentiating. And, by extension, either would be equivalent to apricot.

“They’re completely different,” she said. “If you can’t tell mango from peach, that’s your problem.”

Now we had a simple objective disagreement that could readily be resolved experimentally. I ordered a minimum-size ice cream in each of the two flavors. But by the time the serving person had prepared them, and I turned to ask Elizabeth to close her eyes for the experiment, she had gone. So much for “evidence-based.” And for computer “scientist.”

Afterward, Claudia advised me that I should have abandoned the experiment prior to Elizabeth’s leaving. Obviously. But at what point? Where was the signal? These are the subtleties I fail to see. But I also fail to see why heightened sensitivity to obscure cues about ice-cream flavors should be a prerequisite for being someone’s partner. It seems reasonable to assume that some women do not require this. Unfortunately, the process of finding them is impossibly inefficient. The Apricot Ice Cream Disaster had cost a whole evening of my life, compensated for only by the information about simulation algorithms.

•  •  •

Two lunchtimes were sufficient to research and prepare my lecture on Asperger’s syndrome, without sacrificing nourishment, thanks to the provision of Wi-Fi in the medical library café. I had no previous knowledge of autism spectrum disorders, as they were outside my specialty. The subject was fascinating. It seemed appropriate to focus on the genetic aspects of the syndrome, which might be unfamiliar to my audience. Most diseases have some basis in our DNA, though in many cases we have yet to discover it. My own work focuses on genetic predisposition to cirrhosis of the liver. Much of my working time is devoted to getting mice drunk.

Naturally, the books and research papers described the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome, and I formed a provisional conclusion that most of these were simply variations in human brain function that had been inappropriately medicalized because they did not fit social norms—constructed social norms—that reflected the most common human configurations rather than the full range.

The lecture was scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at an inner-suburban school. I estimated the cycle ride at twelve minutes and allowed three minutes to boot my computer and connect it to the projector.

I arrived on schedule at 6:57 p.m., having let Eva, the short-skirted cleaner, into my apartment twenty-seven minutes earlier. There were approximately twenty-five people milling around the door and the front of the classroom, but I immediately recognized Julie, the convenor, from Gene’s description: “blonde with big tits.” In fact, her breasts were probably no more than one and a half standard deviations from the mean size for her body weight and hardly a remarkable identifying feature. It was more a question of elevation and exposure, as a result of her choice of costume, which seemed perfectly practical for a hot January evening.

I may have spent too long verifying her identity, as she looked at me strangely.

“You must be Julie,” I said.

“Can I help you?”

Good. A practical person. “Yes, direct me to the VGA cable. Please.”

“Oh,” she said. “You must be Professor Tillman. I’m so glad you could make it.”

She extended her hand but I waved it away. “The VGA cable, please. It’s six fifty-eight.”

“Relax,” she said. “We never start before seven fifteen. Would you like a coffee?”

Why do people value others’ time so little? Now we would have the inevitable small talk. I could have spent fifteen minutes at home practicing aikido.

I had been focusing on Julie and the screen at the front of the room. Now I looked around and realized that I had failed to observe nineteen people. They were children, predominantly male, sitting at desks. Presumably these were the victims of Asperger’s syndrome. Almost all the literature focuses on children.

Despite their affliction, they were making better use of their time than their parents, who were chattering aimlessly. Most were operating portable computing devices. I guessed their ages as between eight and thirteen. I hoped they had been paying attention in their science classes, as my material assumed a working knowledge of organic chemistry and the structure of DNA.

I realized that I had failed to reply to the coffee question.

“No.”

Unfortunately, because of the delay, Julie had forgotten the question. “No coffee,” I explained. “I never drink coffee after three forty-eight p.m. It interferes with sleep. Caffeine has a half-life of three to four hours, so it’s irresponsible serving coffee at seven p.m. unless people are planning to stay awake until after midnight. Which doesn’t allow adequate sleep if they have a conventional job.” I was trying to make use of the waiting time by offering practical advice, but it seemed that she preferred to discuss trivia.

“Is Gene all right?” she asked. It was obviously a variant on that most common of formulaic interactions, “How are you?”

“He’s fine, thank you,” I said, adapting the conventional reply to the third-person form.

“Oh. I thought he was ill.”

“Gene is in excellent health except for being six kilograms overweight. We went for a run this morning. He has a date tonight, and he wouldn’t be able to go out if he was ill.”

Julie seemed unimpressed, and in reviewing the interaction later, I realized that Gene must have lied to her about his reason for not being present. This was presumably to protect Julie from feeling that her lecture was unimportant to Gene and to provide a justification for a less prestigious speaker being sent as a substitute. It seems hardly possible to analyze such a complex situation involving deceit and supposition of another person’s emotional response, and then prepare your own plausible lie, all while someone is waiting for you to reply to a question. Yet that is exactly what people expect you to be able to do.

Eventually, I set up my computer and we got started, eighteen minutes late. I would need to speak forty-three percent faster to finish on schedule at 8:00 p.m.—a virtually impossible performance goal. We were going to finish late, and my schedule for the rest of the night would be thrown out.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 279 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(170)

4 Star

(58)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(19)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 279 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The book was absolutely delightful. I didn¿t want to put it down

    The book was absolutely delightful. I didn’t want to put it down once I started reading. The author has done an outstanding job creating realistic likeable characters, or in one case, a true scuzzball. All of the main characters grow and develop over the course of the story as they learn from their experiences. I found myself rooting for Don, the main character, and Rosie each step of their journey to find a wife for Don and Rosie’s biological father. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a book with endearing but also complex characters and a story that is inspiring without being sappy.

    Don is a professor of genetics at a university. He is also definitely on the autism spectrum although he does not seem to realize that he is. He wants to find a wife but the problem is he has never even been on a date. So in his usual methodical manner he decides to create the Wife Project, a sixteen-page questionnaire designed to find his perfect partner. It does not go over well with the women he meets. Another professor at the university, one of his two friends, takes a look at the questionnaire and its results suggests that he send Don a candidate. He sends Rosie to meet Don. Rosie is one her own quest to find her biological father and needs help from a geneticist. Don decides very quickly that Rosie is not a potential wife but he offers it help her try to find her father. The two of them embark on a whirlwind adventure of discovery mostly about who they really are and how you can’t decide ahead of time who you will fall in love with.

    Disclosure: I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway on the premise that I would review it.

    41 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 14, 2014

    Great Read

    I highly recommend this book. I loved it. It is told from the point of view of Don. He is a professor and has Asperger's. It a funny, lovely romance. Don did not think he would ever be able to find a wife for himself as he is not good in social situations. As he says at the beginning of the book, he has 2 friends, Gene and his wife, 4 if he counts their children. But another tells him he would make a good husband so he creates the "Wife Project". This in turn leads him to Rosie. Please read this book if you like funny romances with a bit of a twist.

    33 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    Loved every quirky page

    You're in for a real treat with this one! No spoilers...just kick back and enjoy. Hilarious and moving, ya gotta love it! One of the most original love stories I've ever read! Enough said...read it!

    33 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    LOVE THE BIG BANG THEORY? READ THIS!

    Fantastic read that is perfect mix of science, drama, comedy and romance. I would best descibe it as what it would be like if Sheldon Cooper was trying to find a wife. Science and structure rule over the main character Don, but his world gets flipped topsy when Rosie comes into the picture. Funny read with plenty of sarcasm and wit and just the right amount of mush. Side note: met the author at a book signing in Nashville TN: incredibly nice bloke. Just as funny as you'd imagine. You should buy his book. It is a fabulous read.

    31 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 10, 2014

    Such an amazing book!! A must read...

    This is not just an amazing read but it is also brilliantly written. The main characters quirkiness will win your heart and you will find yourself rooting for him thru the entire book. "Rosie" is masterfully written character. She is trendy, smart, savy, and surprisingly perfect. In today's crazy,odd, scary world of dating "Dons" approach and follow thru is genius. This is a quick read so it makes it perfect for a vacation book or a simple long weekend mind getaway. I read, also, Sony has optioned it for a movie! This would be amazing on the big screen. Happy reading!

    29 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Meh. That's how I feel about The Rosie Project. This book receiv

    Meh. That's how I feel about The Rosie Project. This book received 4.11 stars on Goodreads. I usually really trust the star rating on Goodreads ... I use it constantly to give myself an idea of what to expect from a book and this time, I felt betrayed. I expected a four star book and I was saddled with a 1.5 star book. I decided to go ahead and give the book the extra half a star because at least the author was grammatically correct throughout the entire thing.

    When I first heard about The Rosie Project, I was really excited. I thought that the premise was adorable and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. To my surprise, I won an ARC of the book through a Goodreads giveaway and I would get to read it before everyone else (insert nana-nana-na-na).

    My excitement was quickly extinguished once I cracked open that book and read the first page. BORRRRING! Hell, I know that sounds so rude but it's what is going through my head. I would hate to sugarcoat things and spew sunshine and rainbows when that's not how I feel.

    The main character is Don Tillman ... this Don character was a freaking nut job. He micromanaged his life down to the second. He is so stuck in the routine of his life that he doesn't actually live. He just exists. That's fine ... be anal retentive. Be weird. I have no problem with that. I have a problem with it a book being written like the back of a shampoo bottle. It was boring and I just couldn't wait for it to be over.

    Every single person that Don met, he would calculate their BMI. Every. Single. Time. It got old. Really quickly. Don also pointed out a persons faults in his head. Every time he spoke to someone. I found myself saying, "OH, MY GOSH" quite frequently because after a while of reading about these weird things Don does, it just became annoyingly annoying (that's the worst kind of annoying).

    It makes me wonder ... are books like children? Do they just want attention, no matter what kind it is? Good attention, bad attention ... kids don't care one iota, they just want attention. Is bad attention for a book good as well? By writing this scathing review, am I sending people to pick up this book? Will I be held responsible if someone drops into a coma because of my review?!? I sure hope not. Because there won't be enough hospital beds for the victims.

    29 out of 72 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Exceptional

    A 10 on a scale from 1-5! One of the best books I've read in years! It's perfect for both a casual reader and a university classroom.

    27 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Funny and clever

    I didnt want it to enD!

    26 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 2, 2014

    Excellent book. Enjoyable, quick read.  I was rooting for Don th

    Excellent book. Enjoyable, quick read.  I was rooting for Don throughout. Some strong language was the only negative in my opinion. 

    22 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Loved it!

    I was learly of buying this book due to poor reviews, but since it was only a couple bucks, I took the chance. So glad I did! If you don't know/work with people with ASD, you might not "get" this book, and that would be your loss. A great exploration of how sometimes it is us "neurotypicals" who are the ones that are REALLY screwed up.

    I don't usually write reviews, but this book deserved one!

    22 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Best read in a long time!

    I can literally count on both hands the number of "page-turners" I've read in my nearly 40 years of life. This book was one of them...I could not put it down! A compelling and smart romantic comedy, The Rosie Project will delight anyone who is a romantic at heart!

    22 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    Good read!

    I have clients with ocd and issues like these characters, so it was written realistically. Very cute book, only thing is, I saw a lot of the situations ahead of time, so the author needs to not 'telegraph' the next scenario so well, before it starts.

    20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Loved it.

    Love this book. Not your normal love story. Really hated that I finished the book. Some parts are laugh out funny.

    18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    The Rosie Project

    Enjoyed this book very much. If you like "The Big Bang Theory" you will like this.

    16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 7, 2013

    I only write positive reviews, but I can't  for this one. It's l

    I only write positive reviews, but I can't  for this one. It's like hearing a joke and you either get or don't. I did not.
    While the first section is amusing, until you get where it's going, the rest is boring. I was glad to be finished with it.
    Read some of the other reviews for a more detailed analysis. I lean towards the 2 star review  already written.
    The professional reviewer are overly positive and should be taken with a grain of salt..

    16 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    A great read!

    Such an unusually clever story that tugs at all your emotions. You are intrigued, amused and literally invested in the main character and his journey from the first page. One of those books where you hate to reach the last page. I'd recommend this book for readers who enjoy interesting characters,observational and often unintentional humor and a fresh, non-formula story.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2014

    Well Bill Gates rated it his top 6 so I had to read.!!!....fabul

    Well Bill Gates rated it his top 6 so I had to read.!!!....fabulous and agreed could not put it down!!! Need a movie but who would play the main!???? Great read

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2014

    Fun read. I loved the professor. He was adorkably loveable but i

    Fun read. I loved the professor. He was adorkably loveable but if I knew him in real life I'd probably run very fast the other way. The book actually requires you to suspend logic to buy the set up. Not in that Don could not really be that clueless or even that his friends would be so one-dimensional, but the entire premise of Rosie trying to find her biological father is flawed. If Don was as brilliant of scientist as he was portrayed, and if Rosie was as bright as her MCAT score showed, and if her mother was an actual M.D., there would be no way that we would have had to wait until the end of the book for them to realize their flawed reasoning behind the quest for the bio father. That knowledge did not detract from my enjoyment of the book however.  The author did a good job of immersing the reader into Don's world, and I look forward to visiting his revamped planet when the sequel comes out.  

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Really a 2.5

    I read this book because of the high reviews it received. I can't really agree with the hype. Although there were a FEW times when I laughed, I certainly would not consider this book humorous. The characters came across as very dry, boring, and monotone. At times, there seemed to be a disconnect between the characters and/or scene.

    Then there was the whole ridiculousness of Gene wanting to have sex with a woman from every country (for research purposes of coarse!) and keeping a map with push pins in his office to mark his conquests.

    The only saving grace was that through a series of events, Don slowly started having a life.

    I give this book a 2.5.

    7 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Good book

    This was a super cute and entertaining book. I laughed out loud several times. This is not normally my genre but I really enjoyed this story.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 279 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)