This book is great fun. Graeme Simsion hooks you in from the first page and keeps you interested and entertained right to the end.
The story is told by Don, a university genetics professor, who is asked to cover a lecture for a friend. With very clever writing, it becomes apparent to the reader that Don is uniquely qualified to speak on the topic:
"The sequence was initiated by Gene insisting I give a lecture on Asperger’s syndrome that he had previously agreed to deliver himself. The timing was extremely annoying. The preparation could be time-shared with lunch consumption, but on the designated evening I had scheduled ninety-four minutes to clean my bathroom." (p1)
Don’s goal in life is to find a wife, up to now however he has been unsuccessful:
"I am thirty-nice years old, tall, fit and intelligent, with a relatively high status and above average-income as an associate professor. Logically, I should be attractive to a wide range of women. In the animal kingdom, I would be successful in reproducing. However, there is something about me that women find unappealing. I have never found it easy to make friends, and it seems that the deficiencies that caused this problem have also affected my attempts at romantic relationships." (p3)
So, he designs a questionnaire to weed out unsuitable women – smokers, vegetarians and the like.
At the same time Rosie enters Don’s life, interested in genetics and searching for her true father.
What ensues is the lovely interactions between Don who analyses everything rationally and logically, who has set meals for days of the week and a schedule that he must stick to; and Rosie who is rather more free-spirited, is bewildered by him yet also finds him interesting and appealing.
It is great fun. I laughed out loud at points, the humour is so dry. You watch both Don and Rosie learn to adapt and consider things from another point of view. Don’s analysis of his own behaviour and experiences are very clever and astute. Simsion has created some excellent commentary on people in general, social situations and how those who struggle with them learn to negotiate their way through.
Highly recommended enjoyable reading. And there is a sequel too – The Rosie Effect – already on hold at the library…