It feels like ages ago that I wrote a book review but looking at my posts, it seems I wrote one only last week! And if they begin to come thick and fast well, what can I say, I've been feeling booky lately!
This was actually on my To Read list for ages. I tried a sample on my Kindle which had me spluttering with laughter because the protagonist, Don, is basically my father (except the latter is miraculously married. Still.)
As much as I love my Kindle, I feel very strongly about keeping the print industry alive. Now whenever I read a promising sample, I'll put the Kindle down and get down to Waterstones (I'm sorry it isn't anywhere independent! I'll try to rectify this.)
I actually put this one on my Christmas list because I was waiting for it to come out in paperback but I ended up with a hardback copy all the same, making it my get-home-from-work go-to in the evenings (I couldn't risk breaking the spine on the train! My backpack murders books yet seems to love electronics enough to spare the Kindle.. Hmm..)
I'd already read the opening from the sample I downloaded but I read it again anyway because it's just so darn funny. We follow Don, a university Psychology lecturer who is utterly unaware that he has a high probability of Asperger's syndrome, through a series of comic and poignant moments in his life. As sexy as Gregory Peck and intelligent as, well, a PhD student, he almost has the whole package and should, as he says, "succeed at mating" if he were in the animal world. However he lacks any kind of social skill as well as the ability to feel basic emotions such as empathy and love.
Yet Don realises that the time is right in his life to find a partner, a wife with whom he can share his highly-regulated and mechanical life. Someone with whom he can eat the same weekly menu over and over, who won't smoke, won't drink and, most importantly, won't be too fussy with ice cream flavours. In order to find this special someone, he designs a highly exclusive questionnaire to find the perfect woman and sets out on a quest with the help of his lusty fellow professor, Gene.
Dubbed an unlikely love story, The Rosie Project centres around the pursuit of a relationship yet is written in the detached voice of somebody who is unable to feel emotions with the same regularity as others. It is at times hilarious, at times incredibly sad. I devoured it within days and loved every minute. The comic moments are perfect, enhanced by Don's deadpan inability to appreciate the humour whilst the more melancholy incidents are tinged with the dawn of his consciousness.
Suitable for all readers, it is easy to read without being trashy, funny without being careless and romantic without being soppy. All in all, a good egg. Go buy it!