The Rosie Project is not my usual type of a book, the premise did not interest me. A run of the mill professor searching for his soul mate, a compatible mate. With the help of a questionnaire that he designed so as to logically enhance the possibilities of finding the one with the minimum effort involved. Nah, not my cuppa tea. But there are only so many books about the Holocaust, world wars you can take before you start looking out for something that would lighten your mood. And this seemed to be a perfect fix for such situations! Having heard and read rave things about it, I decided to get on with it. And so should you!
The Rosie Project is an international sensation which had a lot of people talking about it. Don Tillman, the protagonist, is a spectacularly funny, strikingly intelligent and a prominently odd man. A professor of genetics, he knows all there is to know about genetics and nothing that he should know about socializing. His friend and colleague Gene is a social butterfly, who seems to go for one girl after another, and he tries his best to find a partner for Don. Don goes through the conventional route of dating, speed dating but nothing seems to work for him. Convinced that there should be a logical approach to finding one partner, he drafts a questionnaire which he describes as:
A purpose-built, scientifically valid instrument incorporating current best practice to filter out the time wasters, the disorganised, the ice-cream discriminators, the visual-harassment complainers, the crystal gazers, the horoscope readers, the fashion obsessives, the religious fanatics, the vegans, the sports watchers, the creationists, the smokers, the scientifically illiterate, the homeopaths, leaving, ideally, the perfect partner, or, realistically, a manageable shortlist of candidates.
The story begins with Don drafting a questionnaire which asks the opposite sex about their orientations, habitual, sexual or otherwise. And he appoints an approval rating based on their responses, the criteria itself seems very objective for a relationship that has nothing with objectivity. But for him, this is it, this is the holy grail of relationships. And his questionnaire looks something like this:
Question 35: Do you eat kidneys?
The Rosie Project book has taken me for a ride, a hilarious, uproariously infuriating, rip-roaring, belly laugh-inducing one. Various expressions that went through my mind while reading it were ‘Is this guy for real?!’, ‘Aww!!’, ‘OMG’ etc etc. And guess what he calls this endeavor, The Wife Project!!
As if this not an interesting enough premise, over the course of some rather bizarre events, he meets Rosie who is a dynamic, spontaneous and a normal individual. Rosie is a highly charged girl who is on a quest of her own, she is out to find her biological father and Don unwillingly, against his ever logical sense gets entangled in this web of hers. The subsequent pages deal with the interplay between the two characters and their quest which sees Dan donning a lot of hats of which a bartender is the least surprising.
The Rosie Project will make you laugh, choke and heave with its humor. The writer, Graeme Simsion, has a way with words who when combined with the ever logical Dan and ever beguiling Rosie take us through a journey filled with love, laughter, and exasperation. Give it a try and I don’t think you would regret it.