On Don Tillman and Rouché’s theorem
For some reason when I was reading Graeme Simsion's book "The Rosie Project" I kept thinking about the Rouché's theorem. I don't know why really since it does not have much to do with the book (nothing really).
You see in complex analysis, the Rouché's theorem is a statement about the zeros and poles of meromorphic functions. It is named after the French mathematician Eugène Rouché and of course has nothing to do with a man that eats a lobster salad every Tuesday. But in someways Graeme Simsion presents us with a a complex analysis of Don Tillman's life.
You see he is a university professor with Asperger's Syndrome and he is looking for a wife. After developing and trying several strategies with the complicity of his only two friends, he gets there, without realizing. The series has him lived all kinds of unforeseen adventures and is generally heart warming.
While I know a few people who were not able to connect with the character I liked the humorous tone of these books.
Don Tillman is a professor of genetics at the university and his best friend is Gene. But he is also friends with Rosie, student by day, waitress by night. And that is where Graeme's theorem gets complicated.
The author succeeded brilliantly in using a classic literary tactic: "Show don't tell". And he created somebody that I was able to relate to, to root for, and to shudder when things go horribly wrong. There is no better name for this character because his is so subtle and un-imposing in his nature! He shows us very well the difficulty Don has with interpersonal relationships, his weakness of his emotional side that his friend Gene uses to his advantage. Gene cheats on his wife Claudia, he explains it to Don that he has a research project: sleeping with as many women of different nationalities as possible. A little later in the book, we understand that Claudia does not appreciate this supposed "research project."
The books focus on Don's character despite his problem and I like that the book shows us that a person with this kind of difficulty is capable of leading a normal life or as close to one as any of use lead. Don manages to have a relationship with Rosie. And that too is refreshing.
I also love the end. Rosie and Don have been looking, they have been on a quest. At the end of the novel, we learn the result of this search and I love the way the author reveals it to us. He doesn't give us the raw answer in a few words with an unceremonious "The End."
In short, I think you'll like reading these books if any of what I have presented sounded appealing because it is presented in a way that make empathy an aspect of the adventure as you analyses Don's character. I promise to read any further sequels this story produces.
Have a good read.