[Book Review] The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

Disclaimer: An unexpected side effect of being in KLBAC book discussions and hanging out with the likes of literary critiques is my own change in rating books. I have become more critical (harder to please?) and though I must admit the book has great entertainment value, I expected more from Graeme Simsion’s sequel. Read the following with a pinch of salt and do make your own judgments… To each their own!

My Review:

Perhaps because The Rosie Project was such a humourous and entertaining book, I had high expectations of its sequel. This time, Don’s internal dialogue was something I’m already used to, and with his fixed ways of thinking and logical rationalizations, he certainly did not behave any differently. The surprise in this book came from the uncharacteristic behaviours of Don’s wife, Rosie, Gene and a host of other characters that are further developed in this book. Perhaps it was due to this, and the fact that I’ve gotten used to Don’s inner dialogue, that there was less “burst out in laughter” instances from me.

The plot is simple enough: what comes next after marriage? Why, a baby of course. This was complicated enough for Don to handle on his own. But add to this conundrum the various misunderstandings that Don creates with strangers, the family issues that each of his friends face, and the web of lies and deceit that Don began to weave in order to “protect” Rosie and you will find more complicated sub-plots in the book to digest than the first one.

SimsionG-DonTillman1&2US_thumb[1].jpg
(left) The Rosie Project’s red cover, maybe referring to passion and the urgency of the marriage hunt, and (right) the blue cover for The Rosie Effect, alluding to stable life after marriage?
Where the first book described Don’s characteristic actions and injected humour into most embarrassing situations that Don got himself into, this sequel tried to do the same but barely succeeded. It was peppered with too much information about pregnancy and too much of Don’s logical train of mind and compartmentalization that it almost seems cold (it probably lacked the woman’s touch and perspective that was more evident in The Rosie Project). It seemed that Don has not learnt much about marriage, empathy and emotional expression despite being married for close to a year.

The novel was entertaining enough, and certainly unexpected in terms of predictability. However, everything ties in so neatly and everyone’s problems are resolved perfectly in the end that you will feel like you were reading a fairy tale.

One can almost expect book #3 to be published soon, but I may give it a lower priority to read and finish as quickly as I did the first one.

Interesting Fact! This novel first grabbed my attention when someone in my book club shared a link about Bill Gates reading this and highly recommending it! He talks about The Rosie Project and its sequel, The Rosie Effect in the links below:

https://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/6-Books-I-Would-Recommend-Summer-Reading

https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/The-Rosie-Project

https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/The-Rosie-Effect

My Rating: 5/10

Publication date: 24 September 2014
Publisher: Text Publishing Company
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Humour, Comedy
Pages: 415 pages

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