Monday, 10 November 2014

I didn't love 'The Rosie Project'

I didn’t love The Rosie Project.

I was in conversation with Bernadette, the wife I’d never met of a man I know a little from work. I don’t remember how we even got onto the topic of what we’d been reading, but everything was going swimmingly until I uttered those few words.

I didn’t love it.

In less than an instant, her expression dropped from animated smile, through vague surprise, to blank stare. Like she couldn’t imagine what kind of humourless bitch wouldn’t love The Rosie Project.

I don’t usually do that. Disagree with people I don’t know, I mean. Normally, I return the smile and utter something that mirrors their point of view, that will make them feel comfortable. Maybe even fool them into thinking I’m a nice person. So I’m not sure why this time I just blurted without first pouring my words through the be-nice-filter.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t looking for an argument, or trying to stop the conversation. I wasn’t being un-nice. I guess perhaps it was just a view that I wasn’t prepared to set aside. I really didn’t love The Rosie Project. I didn’t dislike it, either. In fact, I enjoyed it. I found it diverting and amusing —a pleasant holiday read. But I didn’t love it. 

Mostly, that’s because I DO love The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

I think the protagonist/narrator, Christopher John Francis Boone, is far more engaging than Don Tillman as a representation of someone who is ‘on the spectrum’, and I believe Mark Haddon’s structure and plotting is superior to Graeme Simsion’s.

Haddon’s work is clever and funny and heart-breaking and thought-provoking and whimsical and logical all at the same time. It’s so adeptly crafted that the crafting goes unnoticed. The interplay of what Christopher sees with what we as readers see is genius. Even the gaps and silences in Haddon’s novel have an authentic voice. I adore it. I can read it over and over and it hangs together so tightly that I love it even more.

So, while I am all-too-willing to wear the badge that says Picky Bitch, Humourless Bitch I am not. I’m sorry, Bernadette, because I didn’t intend to upset you or shut you down. But I don’t have any passion for The Rosie Project. Perhaps that’s it. Perhaps when I’m truly passionate about something, I simply cannot apply the be-nice-filter.

Is that so wrong?

The Rosie Project was published by The Text Publishing Company, Australia, 2013

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was published by Random House, United Kingdom, 2003.


  1. ok, another thing we have in common. I have tried not to comment on ALL of your posts cause then you will think I am a stalker. I am not. But I am a fan.
    (Off to re-read the curious incident.....)

  2. Hey Gorgie. Why don't you just call it honesty. You were being honest. Refreshing. It happened to me at book club that someone didn't love one of my favourite books. I loved asking why? And was curious to know.

    1. Well yes... Thanks for that..the be-nice filter probably wouldn't have kicked in at a book club.... If I could find one that would have me... And believe me, the look on her face was not speaking of her curiosity about my view! And look at you... A book club! How do you have time for that with all the treddling at your machine!

  3. I have not read the Rosie Project but its on my massive to read list. I am passionate about talking about books, people don't have to like the books I do, I just love books that spur good conversation. I mostly talk about books on my blog. I have 2 IRL friends who enjoy reading and we have a tiny book club which doubled in size when we invited our kids to read and discuss Harry Potter series with us. Stopping by from #NaBloPoMo again!