The Rosie Project was an international publishing phenomenon, with more than a million copies sold in over forty countries around the world. Now Graeme Simsion returns with the highly anticipated sequel, The Rosie Effect. Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are now married and living in New York. Don has been teaching while Rosie completes her second year at Columbia Medical School. Just as Don is about to announce that Gene, his philandering best friend from Australia, is coming to stay, Rosie drops a bombshell: she's pregnant. In true Tillman style, Don instantly becomes an expert on all things obstetric. But in between immersing himself in a new research study on parenting and implementing the Standardised Meal System (pregnancy version), Don's old weaknesses resurface. And while he strives to get the technicalities right, he gets the emotions all wrong, and risks losing Rosie when she needs him most. The Rosie Effect is the charming and hilarious romantic-comedy of the year. Graeme Simsion was born in Auckland and is a Melbourne-based writer of short stories, plays, screenplays and two non-fiction books. The Rosie Project began life as a screenplay, winning the Australian Writers Guild/Inscription Award for Best Romantic Comedy before being adapted into a novel. It went on to win the 2012 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript and has since been sold around the world to over forty countries. Sony Pictures have optioned the film rights with Graeme contracted to write the script. It won the 2014 ABIA for Best General Fiction Book and overall Book of the Year. Praise for The Rosie Project: 'Funny and heartwarming, a gem of a book.' Marian Keyes 'Don Tillman helps us believe in possibility, makes us proud to be human beings, and the bonus is this: he keeps us laughing like hell. I'd love to have a beer with the humane and hilarious Graeme Simsion.' Matthew Quick, New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook 'The Rosie Project is 1930s screwball comedy updated for 2013. Hepburn and Grant in Bringing Up Baby, or Rosalind Russell and Grant in His Girl Friday have the exact same pitch, intelligence, wit and farce with a love story at the centre of it all. Madcap indeed, but like those films The Rosie Project underscored with writing meticulously judged...Extremely loud and incredibly long applause.' Age/SMH/Canberra Times/Brisbane Times 'What an endearing, funny book...a quirky love story about belonging with poignant undertones on the need for us all to be more tolerant of those with differences. A must read for 2013.' Courier Mail/Daily Telegraph 'The charm of this story is Simsion's affectionate depiction of his strange, flawed, infuriating, logical and always amusing protagonist.' Weekend Australian
Rosie and Don are married and living in New York City, Don pursuing an impressive academic career at Columbia, and Rosie working on her PhD. To understate, Don’s world is thrown rather for a loop when he learns Rosie is pregnant, a momentous event which takes him completely by surprise. To round out the fun, the professor recounts a Bluefin tuna social disaster, and gets them evicted from their apartment after a meltdown in which his attempts to constrain his martial arts talents dismay a neighbour. Oh, and he moves them into the beer and wine cellar of an aging rock star.
I didn’t enjoy [The Rosie Effect] as much as its predecessor, [The Rosie Project], but it was good, light fun.
I thought the Rosie Project was a really charming, but I was really disappointed by the sequel. This books seemed to just go on and on and on. I felt like I experienced every minute of the nine month pregnancy. There was just too many over-the-top situations packed in the book, so by the time we get to a cliche "running to the airport" scene my eyes were about to roll right out of my head. Rosie was so one-dimensional and awful in this book that I didn't want the ending that I was supposed to want.
There are some humorous parts and it is always fun to read Don's interpretation of events, but overall this book was just OK.
I find Don Tillman to be an amazing character. I loved him from The Rosie Project, and I continue to adore him in The Rosie Effect. He is good-hearted, well-meaning and smart, very smart, but he is also strange and different, annoyingly so at times, but he recognizes his oddities and he struggles with his limitations. But, regardless of some his missteps, his motives are always genuine and well-intentioned. No wonder he has such loyal friends in Gene, Dave, George, and Sonia. As for Gene, I never really understood Don's friendship with the serial philanderer from The Rosie Project. However, the Gene from the The Rosie Effect is much different and I really liked this endearing character. The bond between Gene and Don is a special one, and providing this other side to Gene added depth to the story; convincing me to change my opinion of him is a credit to a great story-teller.
My problem with the novel, stems from my new dislike of Rosie. I did not find her lovable or likable. Her quirkiness, brash honesty and originality from The Rosie Project seemed to have been replaced by selfishness in The Rosie Effect. Don Tillman spent the entire novel trying to please and care for Rosie, and Rosie did the same. She was self-absorbed and it was difficult for this reader to empathize with her.
That being said, The Rosie Effect is an enjoyable read. It was fun to revisit with prior characters and meet the new additions.
1 - Rosie is nearly completely missing from this book. She is physically present, but totally emotionally NOT. Even towards the end of the book and its resolution, we don't hear her voice. She has actually become a non-entity. I could find no sympathy for her, just thought she was being unfair and a real twit.
2 - The legal entanglement that Don gets himself into is not attractive and has to lean very heavily on Lydia's unexplained personal issues to carry the plot. Don's susceptibility to others' advice has him making bad decisions. They are cringe-worthy.
The saving grace is Don's friendships. His boys-night-outs are something to look forward to. We get a new look at old friend Gene. And we can applaud how Don's presence in their lives has value and meaning.
I think the book is mis-named.
"..Rosie raised the glass as if proposing a toast. This turned out to be exactly what she was doing.
'We've got something to celebrate, Captain,' she said. She looked at me for a few seconds. She knows that I am not fond of surprises. I assumed that she had achieved some important milestone with her thesis. Or perhaps she had been offered a place in the psychiatry training program on completion of the medical course. This would be extremely good news, and I estimated the probability of sex at greater than 90 percent.
She smiled-then, presumably to increase the suspense, drank from her glass. Disaster! It was as if it contained poison. She spat it out, over her white dress, and ran to the bathroom. I followed her as she removed the dress and ran water over it.
Standing in her half-purple underwear, pumping water in and out of the dress, she turned back to me. Her expression was far too complex to analyze.
'We're pregnant,' she said..."
Tillman, who is still gathering the knack at being a husband is now faced with the oncoming responsibility of being a father. Add onto it a best friend who is tossed out by his wife for continuing infidelity, another who is having difficulty sharing his emotions with his wife as well, and an aging rock star landlord with issues connecting with his children.
Tillman approaches all of this in his normal analytical way with disastrous results. He ends up arrested, threatened with prison or at the least having his visa revoked and being deported, and with the love of life Rosie, leaving him with his unborn child. Can this brilliant genetics scientist figure out the answer in time?
The Rosie Effect suffers from the same disease as most sequels. It isn't as good as the first. More so, its not even in its league. Tillman is as lovable as ever, but what was a nuisance in the first novel has become an overbearing albatross in The Rosie Effect.
Every other character in this book sucks! All the men are emotionally weak and unable to be of any support to anyone at all. The women are either hindered by emotional pain or angry and bitter at everyone to see beyond their own issues. But worst of all, is Rosie.
This is the love of his life? Seriously Tillman, you need to get out more. A well educated student of psychiatry can't recognize her own self-destructive and vindictive emotional mood swings? There is absolutely nothing likable about Rosie. Nothing that says she deserves a man who loves her. Even if the man is unable to express it well on an emotional level. But then she knew that well before she married him, and there is a lingering feeling that she got pregnant on purpose even though she knew they would not be in a position to support the child emotionally or otherwise. She is selfish and childish and if you really love the character of Don Tillman, the last thing you want is for him to stay with her.
The book ends with the baby born, everyone happy and the marriage saved. That is not a happy ending. The happy ending is the baby born, Tillman learning to become a father and Rosie run over by a freakin' train!
Now that's a happy ending!
Now for those of you who might be coming in to these books new, let me tell you a little about Don. He has Asperger's, and as such is a rather complex man. He schedules everything, loves to gain new knowledge, and has a bit of a hard time with empathy and social situations. That's why I was so intrigued by the premise of The Rosie Effect. We all know that the prospect of a new baby is exciting, but stressful. I could only imagine how Don, of all people, would deal with an unexpected pregnancy. In my mind, I saw lots of intense planning! I was right. Oh yes, I was right.
I think it's only fair to mention that Rosie is rather insufferable in this particular book. I had a difficult time with her the first time around. Her feminist views, and overall demeanor in fact, were only bearable because Don was so sweet on her. I couldn't let her derail my adoration of him. This time, I almost put this book down multiple times because of Rosie's character. Her selfishness, her petty views, the way she treated Don, all of it made me want to slap her and tell her that he was too good for her anyway. As before, Don really stole the show and that helped a lot with my enjoyment of this book. I'm pretty sure my opinion of Rosie borders on abject hate at his point though.
Moving on, even Rosie wasn't enough to keep me from loving this story. Watching Don's growth from the last book to this one was wonderful and hilarious. His new groups of friends, the new problems he creates for himself, all of it was classic Don. He's a character that I can't help but like. I have to say that he just keeps on surprising me. Despite everything else, I had a lot of fun watching him navigate this new chapter in his life. Bravo, Mr. Simsion. Let's hope that if these two come back for another book, Rosie gets her act together.
Like the previous book, this one is narrated by Don Tillman. In the sequel, this 41-year-old genetics professor from Melbourne, Australia is now working at New York’s Columbia University. Don has been married to Rosie Jarman for ten months when she announces she is pregnant.
Don is “wired differently than most people,” possibly having Asperger’s syndrome. He avers that he recognizes some of the symptoms in his own personality traits, but adds:
"…humans consistently over recognize patterns and draw erroneous conclusions based on them. I had also, at various times, been labeled schizophrenic, bipolar, an OCD sufferer, and a typical Gemini.”
However, it is undoubted that empathy and human contact are somewhat problematic for Don, as are social skills [sic] like dishonesty and deceit. He also is not good with flexibility and dealing with disorganization. This new wrinkle in his life with Rosie throws him, and he freaks out.
He embarks on a campaign to get the situation under control by learning everything he can about pregnancy and parenthood, with sometimes hilarious repercussions. His total of six friends (not counting Rosie and his family members) all get involved, as well as a couple of new friends he adds to the group.
The situation comes to a head in a zany scene worthy of the Keystone Kops, and ends in a way satisfactory to all characters, not to mention, readers.
Evaluation: As with the last book, Don’s literal-mindedness makes many of his thoughts and actions very, very funny, but the reader isn’t laughing at this very lovable protagonist, but with him. The sequel does not have quite as good comedic pacing as the first book, although ironically, it would in fact make an even funnier movie than the first book.
Don’s initial reaction to the news is blind panic but he quickly focuses on the practicalities of the situation. He finds them a larger apartment (rent free to boot), reads up on pregnancy and obstetrics, researches prams and cribs, and fills his bathroom/office wall with sketches of ‘Bud’s’ development. What he doesn’t realise is that Rosie assumes Don is not at all excited about having a child and is growing increasingly unhappy.
I feel like Simsion did Rosie a disservice in this novel, she becomes a stereotype of an unreasonable pregnant woman and quite frankly she comes across as a bitch with regards to Don. Her attitude and behaviour was not at all what I expected from the Rosie I got to know in The Rosie Project and I was disappointed by the way she was often absent from the story altogether.
There were some laughs on offer as Don tries to come to terms with everything but on the whole, The Rosie Effect is much darker than the first book. It wasn’t as feel-good or as poignant as I expected and at times the humour felt a little overworked.
Gene, Don’s philandering best friend, reappears in the The Rosie Effect having been thrown out by his wife, Claudia, and lands on Don and Rosie’s doorstep. To be fair, though still a creep, Gene does try to support Don as he struggles with impending fatherhood, though his advice, taken literally, lands Don in quite a bit of trouble. I did like Don’s new friends – Dave and his pregnant wife, Sonia, and Rosie and Don’s landlord, George.
The Rosie Effect doesn’t have quite the wit or charm of its predecessor but it’s not a bad read, I just found it a little disappointing.
I feel that this one is missing some of the humor that I loved in The Rosie Project. Everything seemed much too serious. Rosie knew what she was getting into when she married Don but now she's "accidentally" pregnant and realizes he's "too crazy." I would have found it much more enjoyable to see Rosie and Don go through the pregnancy together instead of all the secret-keeping (a problem I had with the Sarah MacLean book I just read, too.).
Rosie and Don have been married for just over and year when Rosie discovers she is expecting their first child. Don is not quite sure how to organize this surprise into his very organized, scientific life.
What follows is another fun story about the original relationship between Rosie and Don and impending arrival of a third.
If you were a fan of the first, then you will enjoy this book as well. I received a complimentary e-book via Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.
When I learned that Bill Gates' favorite recently-read novels was this one (The Rosie Project) and its sequel (The Rosie Effect), I was intrigued. I read both back-to-back and enjoyed both immensely, although the sequel seemed to be more written with a movie in mind (lots of madcap mishaps, more so than in the first book). The first is about Don Tillman, a geneticist with Asperger's traits, meeting a woman (Rosie) who is the complete opposite. The second is about their struggles as newlywed expecting parents. Don sincerely wants things to work out but due to his lack of social graces, finds himself in constant hot water. I predict a third book will come out eventually, in which Don and Rosie learn how to be parents with yet more hilarious mishaps.
Both books were easy reads and I'd recommend them highly.
(Note: this review covers both The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect, both of which I give 4 stars).
This book is just as delightful, heartfelt, and funny as its predecessor. Naturally, this book will be best appreciated by those who read The Rosie Project first. Read it! Read both of them! They are fantastic and fun.
“I thought for a moment, then added, only because it might reduce the chances of jail and consequent low-quality food, dull conversation and unwanted sexual advances, 'I'm somewhat socially incompetent.'” No kidding!
“I have a theory that everyone is as odd as I am when they are alone.” Ummm, I don't think so.
“My love for Rosie was so powerful that it had caused my brain to make a grammatical error.”
For all of those who are socially inept, although perhaps (hopefully) not to the degree of Don, there
In this story, secrets, something rather alien to Don, multiple and are a challenge, weaving a very tangled web. Towards the end of the story, it feels like a “Who's on first” kind of skit. In the long run, it's a feel-good story that is again about people who are a bubble off plane doing the best they can. I will definitely read the next one when it comes out.
I was given an advance reader's copy of this book for review. The quotes may have changed in the published edition.
‘That’s not what I’m complaining about. He’s entitled to an opinion. I let the evolutionary psychology stuff go before, even though it’s crap. I’m talking about his insensitivity.’ ‘We need truth-tellers,’ said Seymour. ‘We need technical people. If my plane’s going down, I want someone like Don at the controls.’ I would have assumed he would want an expert pilot rather than a geneticist flying the plane, but I guessed he was attempting to make a point about emotions interfering with rational behaviour.
‘No. It’s normal to want information. It’s normal to want to be liked. Is there any threat of violence?’ ‘Nah. They just say stupid things.’ ‘Probably a result of being stupid. Highly intelligent people are often bullied. As a result of being different. That difference being high intelligence.’ I was conscious of not sounding highly intelligent.
‘My first wife died three years ago. Cancer. I left her when the band started to get noticed. Thought I could do better. Rock star and all. I never really did. I could say they were all the same, but the problem was I was all the same. When you have the same problem with four women, you start to think it might have something to do with you.’
‘Wow. I slept all the way to LA,’ she said. ‘Incorrect. We’re returning to New York. There’s a suspected terrorist on board.’ Rosie looked frightened and grabbed my hand. ‘No cause for fear,’ I said. ‘It’s me.’
Graeme Simsion did that.
I read and loved The Rosie Project last year. I pushed it off on lots of my book friends.
I’m not much of a sequel girl, so it was with great trepidation that I approached The Rosie Effect this morning, the first day of the brand new year. Don’t let me down, I murmured, Please don’t let me down.
I’m so happy to say that The Rosie Effect did not let me down. I say this about very, very few sequels: The Rosie Effect might even be a little bit better than The Rosie Project.
You have to love Don and Rosie, with their off-putting personality quirks, and you have to love how they found each other in this crazy world.
Now, in Effect, they decide to bring a baby into the mix. Well, Rosie does, somehow thinking Don will follow. When he doesn’t, it can cause all sorts of fascinating problems, knowing, as we do from the start, that this author is going to find some kind of wacky way to work everything out.
Okay, I’ve probably said too much, but I suggest, no, I urge you to get this fun novel and give it a read yourself. It’s zany and improbable and hopeless, just like real life, and I think you just might love it as much as I do.
A delightful way to spend a weekend; it's the kind of book that will renergise thanks to its heart-warming characters and happy ending.