Tag: THe Rosie Project

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

February 13th, 2016 — 12:15am

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 10.52.38 PMThe Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

This is a sequel to The Rosie Project by the same author which in my opinion did not add anything to the first book. The main character, Don Tillman, a professor of Genetics from Australia who now is working at Columbia Medical School in New York has married Rosie, a combination PhD and medical student, who was the object of his attention in the first book. Rosie is now pregnant and Don’s reaction to this situation occupies much of the attention in this sequel. As we previously noted, I think it is fair to say that Don has a condition that might be called Asperger’s syndrome. He is obviously a very brilliant man who is extremely logical and analytical but he doesn’t quite get the meaning of feelings and emotions although he does clearly love Rosie. Don will make a spreadsheet to analyze any problem. Think Mr. Spock from Star Trek. Rosie is concerned whether Don will be able to relate to their impending child (designated at BUD for baby under development).

In an attempt to gain insight and understanding of young children, Don attempts to shoot some videos of children playing in the park. This leads him to be picked up in the park by the police for suspected pornographic intentions. This develops some interesting storylines that are clever but not brilliant enough in my opinion to become a page turner. For the most part, the author seems to be going over the same ground as in the first book. Don’s way of thinking is logical and seemingly without any psychological defenses. He says what he thinks and this allows for insightful if not amusing comments. He has a few loyal friends which allow some focus on interesting ideas about infidelity and friendship bonds between these guys. Every new character who appears in the book is described by Don by his analysis of their BMI (body mass index) which is amusing but wears thin after a while.

The first book, The Rosie Project presented an original character through whom the author could reflect on many human foibles. The author developed a base of loyal readers who might be expected to embrace the return of this character in The Rosie Effect. For me, the first book was good enough.

1 comment » | FG - Fiction General, FR - Fiction Romance, Uncategorized

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

May 23rd, 2015 — 9:58pm

The Rosie Project by Graeme SimsionScreen Shot 2015-05-23 at 9.57.53 PM

Dr. Don Tillman is a professor of genetics in Australia where the book is set. It is his voice that tells the story. It does not take long to realize that it is probably the voice of a person with Asperger’s Syndrome. Don, while obviously quite brilliant, lacks the ability to socialize and empathize with other people. At least so it seems. His only real friends are Gene, a faculty member in the Psychology Department and his wife, Claudia, who is a clinical psychologist. They have an open marriage as Gene attempts to have sex with a wide variety of women from all over the world (putting pins in a map marking each conquest). Gene and Claudia are loyal friends of Don and do their best to advise him how to get along with people.

Don undertakes two projects, which allows the reader to learn about how he thinks as well as getting some insight into human nature. The first is The Wife Project. For this, Don makes a questionnaire of all the characteristics he believes he would want in a wife. With the help of Gene, he is able to distribute this questionnaire to a wide variety of women. Factors that are evaluated are things such as smoking, drinking, eating habits, body mass index (BMI) and many others. No one really measures up to score very high in this questionnaire in Don’s quest to meet his life partner. Don does meet Rosie through Gene, who although she does not meet the criteria set out in the questionnaire but with whom he does develop a friendly relationship. Rosie was initially believed by Don to be a bartender but turns out to be a PhD student working in a bar to earn extra money.

It is with Rosie that he develops a second project known as The Father’s Project. It seems that Rosie was unhappy with the man who was known to be her stepfather because he did not deliver on his promises including a childhood hope to go to Disneyland. Her mother died when Rosie was a young girl and things that her mother told her before she died gave her reason to believe that her biological father was actually someone in her mother’s medical school graduating class and had impregnated her at the time of a reunion celebration. There was a picture of all the attendees at this celebration and Rosie and Don embarked upon The Father’s Project where they attempted to track down all these men and surreptitiously obtain samples for DNA analysis, which Don as a genetics professor could do in his laboratory.

Readers of this book blog as well as my psychiatry blog and movie blog would have noted that I have written about the not so uncommon quest to connect with an unknown biological relative, after many years and sometimes a lifetime of no contact with them and no knowledge who that person may be. ( see psychiatry blog about this subject  ) This theme also shows up in movies ( see movie blog about this subject which will links to several movies ) and books as well as this one and in clinical cases as illustrated in my psychiatry blog. As Don and Rosie team up with The Father’s Project, we appreciate how Don intensifies an interest with Rosie. He begins to question many of his assumptions about relationships and his own feeling.

No matter how well a person may fit, the diagnostic criteria for an entity whether it be a narcissistic personality, bipolar disorder, major depression, Asperger’s syndrome or any other entity, there are human qualities that affect the ability for everyone to care for another person, fall in love and have an ability to change. This interesting delightful and enlightening story clearly makes this point.

I understand there is a sequel book by this author, titled The Rosie Effect as well as a movie currently being made. If you like this book as I did, you probably will want to check these out.

1 comment » | FG - Fiction General, FR - Fiction Romance

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