… The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, a name that always looks to me like a massive mis-type of Graham Simpson.
This book has got nearly 3,000 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4.5 stars. I almost never take that to mean I will like a book because I’m not like most people. But I was curious!
And, I don’t know, it was a strange book, written by this Simsion guy who spend 25 years in IT, being a bit of a weirdo, spending time with a lot of weirdos. Our unlikely hero is a sort of Aspergersy weirdo who is trying to find a wife. Although it is never claimed that he has Aspergers because of course the author didn’t want the entire Aspergers community on his head accusing him of getting it all wrong.
There is a lot of semi/not-autistic “oddball” POV books at the moment, like Eleanor Oliphant, and they seem to be crazily successful.
Rosie was good and I read it all the way to the end but I found the voice of the narrator a little exhausting at times, (it is telling that I probably won’t read the follow-up, The Rosie Effect), and I’m not sure how crazy I am about someone with no actual knowledge or personal experience of this reasonably serious and complex condition aligning himself with it for material gain.
Fortunately, I read in an interview that the Asperger’s community, (if that’s the right word), totally love it. So that’s that, I guess.
I don’t usually post about books that I haven’t really loved, but with this one, I kind of feel like, y’know, 3,000 people can’t be wrong.
I quite liked this one too though not necessarily what I’d usually pick up. I think it worked because the portrayal of the main character was warm, affectionate, and fun, which characters who are “possibly on the spectrum” don’t always get to be. His traits were not the whole story. I didn’t read the sequel either though as suspected it wouldn’t be worthwhile. My husband did (out of bloody mindedness as he bought it for me and I didn’t want it) and said it wasn’t as good (ha ha ha!)
I’m really enjoying Crooked Heart by the way. I picked up Gentleman and Players by Joanne Harris in the Kindle sale yesterday, which is a dark comic thriller set in a boys’ grammar school if anyone likes that type of thing also.I’ve had a real mid century thing going at the moment and have been raiding the Persephone books series.
I also read the Curtis Sittenfeld short stories, I think Reese Witherspoon is picking it up for tv.
Urghhh Gentlemen and Players is GREAT!!! The mother of all plot twists!
Thanks I’m going to get right to it x
I loved this novel, Emma!
I’ve got issues with Curtis Sittenfeld
Esther, thank you for saying this; I thought I was the only one. Sittenfeld is an author I should love, given my taste, but…
She’s a great writer but I’m not sure if she’s a great NOVELIST… she let me down badly with Sisterland but Prep was brilliant…
Yes. With these stories, they were easy to read, because she can write really well, and because they have a shared theme, but though they are smart and offbeat they were ultimately a bit forgettable bar one or two, and you end up feeling like you sort of dislike people, and life, at the end. Which may be the point but more and more is not the feeling I want to be left with.
I read this, or more correctly I started reading this, got fed up of the weird narrator and stopped which is v unlike me. Best books I’ve read recently are ‘The Brittle Star’ or ‘Dietland’ both of which stayed with me for weeks afterwards in the way of extremely good writing.
Thanks for this – The Brittle Star looks good. I LOVE books set in the American West and can never find enough of them.
Thanks! I will note these down
Catherineingleby, you probably know, but in case you don’t, “Dietland” has been televised and is on Amazon Prime as we speak (the only good thing I have found on Amazon Prime). I knew nothing about it but as I’m enjoying the show so much I checked it out on Amazon. People love the book and seem to think the show is a faithful representation. I’ve bought the book and now don’t know whether to wait for the series to end or just read it now!
I really enjoyed this and the sequel! On another note though, when I first started reading Eleanor Oliphant I thought she was an aspie but it soon becomes clear that her ‘eccentricities’ shall we say stem from a much darker place and she isn’t autistic at all. That said I welcome the trend of seeing neuro-diversity in so many mainstream books these days. I see it as real progress.
I read it recently too, purchased from the charity book shelf at Sainsbury’s. I finished it, but it didn’t really grab me at any stage, and I didn’t think that they were a good match for a couple, but hey ho. Probably wouldn’t be compelled to read another by him.
I really enjoyed The Rosie Project, and had the chance to talk to the author when he was promoting it on a book tour. (its originally started life as a playscript). An interesting guy, and I suspect he probably knows more about Asperger’s than you might think. He also asked me which colour pen I wanted him to autograph my copy of the novel with, which is a new one one on me. However, I read The Rosie Effect on the back of this, and was not as charmed. And the most recent one, which I can’t remember the title of, but is about a guy from Manchester who goes to Australia, meets the love of his life, and some years later, shags her with the blessing of her husband, who apparently gets off on watching stuff like that. It was shite, disappointingly. Oh well. Sarah Millican’s book is hilarious – all wanking and eating biscuits (but not in the Biscuit Game sense).
Kelly M. says
Really enjoyed The Rosie Project. Im an accountant, and he reminded me of many of my coworkers. The Rosie Effect, not as much, and the third not at all. It was actually kind of creepy.
I did enjoy Rosie Project, but I am a bit wary of all these books popping up with protagonists who’re on the autistic spectrum. It’s great that there’s so much more awareness of autism, and celebration of people who aren’t neurotypical. But on the other hand, I’m not keen on the ‘hilarious oddball’ stereotype. Most autistic people aren’t like that and it’s not helpful to portray them as such.
yes you’ve put your finger on it