It would be far too easy to compare the main character in The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion to Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, but it is also nearly impossible not to picture that tall, odd character when reading about Professor Don Tillman. Don describes himself as weird and "incompatible with other people". He knows that he is socially awkward and that his mannerisms and brain function are outside the norm. He appears not to have a problem with this fact, but instead works with it. When he decides that it is time he should find a wife, Don commences The Wife Project. He builds a questionnaire that will weed out all of the inappropriate or undesirable candidates. The project doesn't go exactly as planned, but it does introduce him to Rosie. He knows immediately that she is unsuitable as a partner, but he finds himself creating a project to help Rosie identify her biological father. Logically, he should not want to spend more time with her, but he is surprised to see how much he enjoys her company.
I adored this book. Don is awful and sweet and maddening and lovable at the same time. I really enjoy smart characters and I'm not sure they get smarter than Don. When he was worried he might be becoming a "typical computer geek", he decided he should switch his focus of study to genetics where he rose to the top ranks of his field. He has a brilliant mind, but he struggles in all social situations. Rosie has so many of her own difficulties, but the more the reader learns about her, the more wonderful she becomes. I have read criticism of this book that it makes light of people living on the Autism spectrum, but I feel like the humor in this book is aimed at Don specifically, not at anyone else. You will love Don. You will hope for these characters. Lately I have felt as though I have been in a reading funk, but these last two books just may be pulling me out of it. Read them both- you won't regret it!