Graeme C. Simsion is another Aussie author I want to introduce to you. Born in New Zealand he now calls Melbourne his home. He’s also screenwriter, playwright and data modeller. I just had to do this book review as a follow up to my recent review of Kathy Lette’s book about autism spectrum disorder.
Graeme Simsion has also written two hilariously funny books. The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. The central character, Don Tillman, has Asperger’s Syndrome.
For his literary masterpiece, Graeme was awarded the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Unpublished Manuscript Award. The Rosie Project published in Australia in January 2014 has sold more than a million copies in over forty countries around the world. Its sequel The Rosie Effect was published on 24 September 2014.
This is a snippet of what Graeme has to say about himself –
‘Yes, it’s true that I once gave a conference presentation dressed as a duck. And for good reason, really (I wanted to attract people to a dry topic). But it was a long time ago. ..
Drunk 99 year old champagne from the wreck of the Jonkoping. (Celebrating my friend Roy the Antique Dealer’s 50th). I like wine quite a lot..
Born in New Zealand. Father British. Naturalised Australian. Accent is occasionally spotted.
Nerd fact: My (Kevin) Bacon number is 4 – Self – Dominique Simsion (Voluntary Act) – Beth Child (Push Up) – Meryl Streep (Evil Angels) – Kevin Bacon (The River Wild)
My Erdos number is 4: Self – Daniel Moody – Amotz Bar-noy – Nathan Linial – Paul Erdos ….
… which gives me the (rare) Erdos-Bacon number of 8. Colin Firth and Natalie Portman have 6s. Partner also 8. Of course.’
BACON NUMBER???? Now that piqued my curiosity – I HAD to look it up. This is what I found –‘six degrees of separation” concept, which posits that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart. Movie buffs challenge each other to find the shortest path between an arbitrary actor and prolific character actor Kevin Bacon. It rests on the assumption that anyone involved in the Hollywood film industry can be linked through their film roles to Bacon within six steps. The game requires a group of players to try to connect any such individual to Kevin Bacon as quickly as possible and in as few links as possible. In 2007, Bacon started a charitable organization named SixDegrees.org.’ Huh! Bet you didn’t know that.
OK, enough of the trivia. Let’s get onto the reasons for this post: The Rosie Project. This book had me in stitches. I found it hard to put down.
Professor Don Tilman, a 41 year old academic, had a dilemma – the Wife Problem. More specifically, he didn’t have one. And he wanted one. In order to find the perfect candidate, Don developed a “purpose-built, scientfically valid instrument incorporating current best practice to filter out time wasters, the disorganised, the ice-cream discriminators, the visual harrassment 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.“
His best-laid, meticulously executed plans all went down the gurgler when he met Rosie. She did not fit any of the criteria in his Wife Questionnaire. In fact, his carefully ordered and structured life was turned upside down and back to front. “You failed almost every criterion of the Wife Project. Disorganised, mathematically illiterate, ridiculous food requirements. Incredible…“
No spoiler alerts. To find out what happens you’ll need to read the book. I guarantee you will enjoy it.
Rosie and Don are married. ‘ Marriage added significant complexity to my life. When we relocated to New York City, Rosie brought three maximum-size suitcases. We abandoned the Standardised Meal System and agreed that sex should not be scheduled in advance.’
Contrary to all their best laid plans, Rosie falls pregnant. ‘A spreadsheet is the obvious tool…. in preparing for the existence of a new human being and providing for its needs over many years, project-planning software is appropriate. I was unaware of any spreadsheet and Gantt chart for a baby project.’
Alas, Don had an emotional meltdown. It’s a rollercoaster ride as Don, in his unique style, attempts to come to terms with unplanned fatherhood, lurching from one Incident to another.
This book is equally as compelling and rivetting a read as the other.
© Raili Tanska