The Rosie Effect

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (Reviewed Aug '18)

The “Rosie Effect” is a sequel to “The Rosie Project” and the group found it an enjoyable success, with four of us rating it three marks or less out of five and the majority awarding above four, with one five.

(Quotes from “The Guardian); the sequel finds the couple relocated to New York and working in the medical department of Columbia University when Rosie announces that she is pregnant.

Don's reaction is Donnish in the extreme: "I was happy in the way that I would be happy if the captain of an aircraft in which I was travelling announced that he had succeeded in restarting one engine after both had failed. Pleased that I would now probably survive, but shocked that the situation had arisen in the first place, and expecting a thorough investigation into the circumstances."

Simsion is circumspect when asked where Tillman might be placed on the autism spectrum, His great skill as a writer of comic fiction, however, is to engender an empathetic response to a character incapable of empathising with others. Don Tillman may be an emotional klutz, but he remains admirably self-aware:

Tillman has almost transcended the boundaries of fiction to become a geek icon, and for those who cannot get enough of his pedantic faux pas this hefty new instalment offers plenty more laugh-out-loud moments. A geneticist colleague of Tillman's observes that human beings are programmed for repetition: "If something feels good, we do it again", which suggests that a sequel was always likely to be on the cards.

But to give a purely Tillmanesque assessment of the result, one would have to conclude that it fulfils a formula familiar to many sequels of bestelling novels in that it is twice as long and only half as good. (Unquote).