The Rosie Project: Ten Things I Didn’t Know Yesterday

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The Rosie Project

This morning I went to a “superfan” event with Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project. It was great to be invited as I’ve hand-sold more copies of this book than a full-time employee at a book-shop! I want the world to read its positive messages about Asperger’s and so have recommended it to a wide-range of people. Those within the autism community have been especially grateful to be introduced to The Rosie Project as it is the first entertaining book on the subject. It manages to treat the condition with respect, whilst promoting tolerance and hope.

I thought I knew a lot about the book, but Graeme Simsion entertained us with many new snippets of information. Here are the top ten things I learnt about The Rosie Project:


  1. The book started life as a screen play set in America.
  2. In an early draft Rosie was a Hungarian physicist called Klara.
  3. Don is based on a man Graeme Simsion has known for 30+ years.
  4. Simsion was inspired to write the book after seeing how this friend cared for his wife when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
  5. Graeme Simsion did no research into Asperger’s before writing the book. Everything is based on his observations of those working in the IT industry.
  6. The title was chosen because in Australia the first syllable of “Rosie” rhymes with “project”.
  7. In the first draft of the book Gene was Rosie’s father.
  8. The cocktail scene is based on a real event, one in which Simsion met his wife.
  9. Graeme Simsion has just finished the sequel. It is about what happens when Rosie discovers that she’s pregnant.
  10. Simsion is currently writing a book with his wife. It is a romantic comedy in which she is writing chapters from a female perspective and him the male.

I highly recommend going to see Graeme Simsion talk – he is entertaining, intelligent and full of interesting information. He is currently touring the UK – you can find details of where he’ll be here.

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  1. LALALALALA! I skipped the spoilery section, but I’ve started reading this one, so I can’t wait to come back and read through!

    1. Jackie says:

      Andi, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

  2. Marie says:

    I skipped the spoilers too as I haven’t read this one, but I must admit I am becoming more and more tempted to do so because I’ve seen countless glowing reviews. Have you read Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer? I finished that a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it. It’s a really entertaining read about a young man with Asperger’s syndrome.

    1. Jackie says:

      Marie, No, I haven’t read ‘Rubbernecker’ and had no idea it had a character with Asperger’s in it. Thanks for the recommendation – I’ll track it down soon!

      1. Annabel says:

        Rubbernecker is new out in paperback – I got it in Tescos the other day!

  3. tanya says:

    Ack! I’m going to be in London when he’s in Edinburgh, and Edinburgh when he’s in London. I absolutely loved The Rosie Project and would have loved to see him. And congratulations on being the top handseller!

    1. Jackie says:

      Tanya, Oh no! Sorry you don’t get to see him. Maybe your paths will cross for the sequel :-)
      PS. I’m not officially the top hand seller (don’t think there is any way to measure that – certainly not for someone like me not working in a bookshop, simply mentioning it to rooms at autism events) but if there was a prize I think I’d have a good shot at winning it ;-)

  4. Sandy says:

    Our book club loved this book…I’ll have to share these nuggets with them! I will say that one of our members has a child with Asperger’s, and did feel that issues resolved a little too quickly. That Don adapted to complications too easily. I still thought it was a very sweet book, and I’m pretty excited that there is a sequel!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, It is great to hear that your book club loved it! I look forward to finding out what mine think on Friday. I think it will make a great conversation.

      I do agree that some events in the book happened too quickly, but I’m willing to forgive those as the book wouldn’t have been as fast paced/entertaining if real timelines were followed.

  5. Annabel says:

    Shame – I’ve missed him near me – oh well. When he’s in town for the sequel perhaps? That’s really exciting – can’t wait.

    1. Jackie says:

      Annabel, That’s a shame. Perhaps we can go to a sequel event together :-)

  6. Ifi says:

    What fun to meet authors Jackie and obtain some quirky facts.
    I laughed a lot throughout this book. Loved it.

    1. Jackie says:

      Ifi, It’s great to hear that you enjoyed this book. I hope you’re heading out of your reading rut now :-)

  7. Kailana says:

    I considered starting this the other night, but read something else. I must go back and start it!

    1. Jackie says:

      Kailana, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  8. kimbofo says:

    Agreed — this is a fab book! So pleased to hear he’s as entertaining in person as he is on the page.

    1. Jackie says:

      Kim, I hope you get to meet him one day!

  9. Such a fun book. I know most of your then things, but not “Graeme Simsion did no research into Asperger’s before writing the book. Everything is based on his observations of those working in the IT industry.” Oh dear, that made me laugh. He’s a cheeky man.

    BTW How do you British say “project”? I know the Americans say it with a short “o” but I thought we say it like you?

    1. Jackie says:

      Whispering Gums, I’m not very good at explaining pronunciations, as I sometimes don’t realise other countries say certain words differently, but hopefully these words are fairly universal: In Australia “project” rhymes with “sew-ject” and in the UK it is much harder “Prod-ject”. Hope that makes sense!

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