The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion

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LoveReading View on The Rosie Project

One of the Top 10 Lovereading Reader Review Panel Summer Read selections.

A thoroughly charming book from this witty and intelligent Australian writer.  Don leads a very ordered life.  He does not consider himself odd, does not notice how much he shares with a group of children with Asperger’s syndrome, approaches everything in a completely logical way.  This logic extends into his search for a wife.  It is easy to mock Don and see this purely as a kooky rom-com, but it is more.  It is an exploration of society with all its preconceptions and unwritten rules.  To fit in or not?  How much to fit in?  Should one try to change just to fit in?  And change how much?  Rosie guides Don and the reader through these challenges in what must be one of the most endearing books I have ever read.  It will probably be one of my most memorable books of the year. ~ Sarah Broadhurst


One of our Books of the Year 2014.


Click here to view The Rosie Effect, the sequel to The Rosie Project which is out in paperback in February 2015.


January 2014 MEGA Debut of the Month.


We defy you not to absolutely love this quirky romantic gem of a book, that weirdly sits somewhere between One Day by David Nicholls, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time from Mark Haddon and Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding.


Professor Don Tillman leads a v. v. structured life; single, intelligent, tall, fit, heathy - unable to see why he can’t find a wife and unable to see he is really rather autistic... His hyper-rational solution is a 16 page questionnaire. But love does work in mysterious and irrational ways. Touching, insightful and v v funny, please read the Opening Extract - you will be hooked!


reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Rosie Project a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'What a brilliant book... Please read it, he [the protagonist] will change your life' – Jayne Burton. Scroll down to read more reviews.

Sarah Broadhurst

The Rosie Project Synopsis

'I'm not good at understanding what other people want.' 'Tell me something I don't know ...' Love isn't an exact science - but no one told Don Tillman.



A thirty-nine-year-old geneticist, Don's never had a second date. So he devises the Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie - 'the world's most incompatible woman' - throwing Don's safe, ordered life into chaos. But what is this unsettling, alien emotion he's feeling?

The Rosie Project Press Reviews

We have asked a select number of members and browsers to review The Rosie Project. You can read their reviews below


Jayne Burton - 'Yesterday morning this wonderful book dropped onto my doormat introducing me to Don Tillman.  I had planned to put aside a couple of hours a day to read it, but Don had other ideas. He was very persuasive, insistent really, positioning himself in my living room until I finished.   What a brilliant book.  I love him, he made me laugh out loud, feel sorry for him a little, and look on life in a very different way, which I hope will stay with me for a long time.  I know he will, he is still taking up space in my living room!  Please read it, he will change your life – probably.'


Judi Davies - 'Don Tillman is different! Rosie Jarman has 'issues'! These two loveable characters form the foundations of a heart-warming, humorous, well-written, 'unputdownable' story. They also stole my heart.' Click here to read the full review.


Olivia Brook - 'This is the most entertaining book I've read in quite some time and I can't stop telling people about it.  It's truly heartwarming, funny, honest and un-put-down-able.' Click here to read the full review.


Jane Pepler - 'This book is a fantastic read. There are many laugh out loud moments and great observations on every day human interaction. I found the book an easy read but still found that there was a real depth to the characters and plot.' Click here to read the full review.

Carolyn Huckfield - 'The whole novel is enjoyable and moving and all the characters come alive throughout the story.' Click here to read the full review.


Linda Hill - 'I found 'The Rosie Project' a highly entertaining read. As well as being amusing throughout, it also has sensitivity along with laugh out loud moments. I'll never look at a medical skeleton in the same way again!' Click here to read the full review.


Barbara Gaskell - 'Heart warming and left a smile on my face...The book was quick to read which was good as I was enthralled by the blend of humour and poignancy.' Click here to read the full review.


Natasha Way - 'If you like unusual, quirky and amusing, then this novel is for you!...Entertaining, refreshing and bizarre at times, The Rosie Project will touch your heart and tickle your sense of humour.' Click here to read the full review.

Jillian McFrederick - 'How refreshing to find a romantic novel written from the male point of view with such clarity and appeal!...It is a colourful, action packed story – and brings to mind the  strange  combination of ‘Forest Gump’ with ‘A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’.' Click here to read the full review.


Rebecca Jayne Barett - 'As soon as I picked up The Rosie Project, I knew it was going to be a good read...Don and Rosie never failed to entertain me, building to a perfect ending and amazingly written story.' Click here to read the full review.

Glynis Elliott - 'I loved it. It gave me a warm comfortable feeling and a big ahhhhhhh at the ending.' Click here to read the full review.

Shelley Fallows - 'I believe this book captures something of the world in which we live today.  It also shows that love can be found in the unlikeliest of people.I thoroughly recommend this delightful, funny, and heart-warming read.' Click here to read the full review.

Zarina de Ruiter - 'Don's social awkwardness makes for some hilarious and unique events. Add to that the ongoing intrigue in both the Wife Project and the Father Project, the latter of which he starts up for Rosie, and you've got a wonderfully entertaining and compelling read.' Click here to read the full review.

Sarah Tilley - 'I would certainly recommend it – once I had started I really wanted to see how things would end for the luckless Don Tillman, and I was almost disappointed that I read it so quickly!' Click here to read the full review.


Lindsay Healy - 'I absolutely loved this wonderful book! It genuinely moved me, and made me laugh, smile and cry...The Rosie Project is a beautifully written, tender and funny portrayal of the eternal search for love.' Click here to read the full review.

Carol Donald - 'The plot is so funny that it will have you laughing out loud and also very poignant in places. It poses the question "who is the 'normal' person." A great debut and I will definitely be looking for more by this author.' Click here to read the full review.

Natasha Radford - 'This book is so sensitively written, from the perspective of someone who has Aspergic tendencies, that you find yourself literally laughing aloud...The romantic in you can't help but be touched by the beauty of the plot, hoping desperately that against all the odds, love will out.' Click here to read the full review.


Elisabeth Thomas - 'What I found was a well written, sweet and poignant book. The book was funny, sad and made me want to keep reading to find out how Don and Rosie’s journey ended.' Click here to read the full review.


Edel Waugh - 'This was such a fun book seeing dating through the eyes of a man, even if he is a very quirky fictional character.' Click here to read the full review.

Susana Sanchez-Gonzalez - 'As with all romantic comedies, you want love to prevail, to succeed, to do its thing, and in that sense, this book delivers.' Click here to read the full review.

Magda North - 'This novel tackles the perilous world of male dating and qualifies as chicklit for men!...My guess is that it will really tickle male readers' Click here to read the full review.


Julie Bertschin - 'The Rosie Project is a laugh outloud, smile a minute read!...I will definitely be recommending this book to everyone I know.' Click here to read the full review.


Sue Broom - 'This is a hugely entertaining book with an endearing main character...Written in the first person, it invites us to laugh along with Don Tillman, not at him, and I laughed a lot.' Click here to read the full review.


Catherine Larner - 'This is a fun story which is quite simplistic in its characterisation and resolutions but nonetheless hugely satisfying and uplifting.' Click here to read the full review.

Sharon Butler - 'An unusual story as it’s written from the perspective of a man looking for the ideal wife...I would definitely recommend it as an amusing read.' Click here to read the full review.

Susan Walsh - 'The Rosie Project had me hooked from page One!...It’s well written, with a perfect blend of characters...The funniest novel in a long while, it makes you want more.' Click here to read the full review.

Joan Hill - 'If you loved ‘The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time’, you’ll just adore this one. It’s laugh-out-loud funny. It’s a real gem.' Click here to read the full review.


Sallyann Spittle - 'A perfect chill-out fun and witty book to read. A great book to read when you want to escape from your own everyday problems.' Click here to read the full review.

Caroline Matthews - 'The Rosie Project was a bit different from anything I've read before, and it's always nice to see a fresh idea for a book.' Click here to read the full review.



'Adorable ... Really funny and heart-warming, a gem of a book' Marian Keyes


'Although there are many laughs to be found in this marvellous 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 Pyjamas


'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


'Funny, endearing, and pure, wonderful escapism' Independent


'A sweet, funny rom-com ... You'll be willing Don and Rosie on every step of the way' Marie Claire


'Original, charming and very funny' Woman & Home


'Touching and laugh-out-loud funny -- think The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time meets Silver Linings Playbook' Stylist


'A hilarious, unlikely romance with heartbreaking twists' Easy Living


'Don Tillman is one of the most endearing, charming and fascinating literary characters I have met in a long time' The Times


'Genuinely funny; you'll laugh out loud Essentials I absolutely loved The Rosie Project -- original and clever, and perfectly written.The world is going to fall in love with Don and Rosie' Jill Mansell


'A poignant, funny novel about how you don't find love; it finds you' Glamour

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781405912792
Publication date: 02/01/2014
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780718178123
Publication date: 11/04/2013
Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781405912792
Publication date: 2nd January 2014
Author: Graeme Simsion
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 368 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Graeme Simsion

Graeme Simsion is a full-time writer. Previously an IT consultant and educator, he wrote his first book in 1994 (the standard reference on data modelling, now entering its fourth edition), and taught at four Australian universities. He is married to Anne, a professor of psychiatry who writes erotic fiction. They have two children. The Rosie Project was originally written as a screenplay, and won the Australian Writers Guild/Inception Award for Best Romantic Comedy Script in 2010. As a novel, it won the 2012 Victorian Premier's award for an unpublished fiction manuscript.

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