Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Book I shall attempt to share my thoughts on today is ‘The Rosie Project’; a novel by Australian author Graeme Simsion originally published in the glorious year of 2013 (as you can tell, I like to keep my blog VERY current).

Please note, coffee table not included

Please note, coffee table not included

For the first 50 (ish) pages I reeeeaally didn’t like this book. I must admit that my negative opinions may be based on the fact that it’s protagonist, Genetics Professor Don Tillman, reminded me too much of Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory.

I hate the Big Bang Theory.

Well ok, ‘hate’ is a strong word but, let’s put it this way, if I flicked onto E4 and BBT was on…. I’d change the channel. That’s how serious I am about this. I don’t mess around. Come at me.

I even considered giving up and reading something else but the term ‘giving up’ isn’t a phrase that is in my vocabulary. Actually it is, but I see no reason to share that here as that’s a whole other blog post waiting to happen (The truth is that I did actually start writing that post but, needless to say..). Nevertheless, giving in and heeding the advice of my inner-farmer/conscience, I ploughed on.  And what did I find? My opinions began to evolve.

The basic synopsis of the book is that of a socially inept but brilliant-minded Genetics professor by the name of Don Tillman, seemingly with Asperger’s syndrome, and his experiment to locate the ideal wife. This said experiment eventually leads him to Rosie, who he labels ‘the world’s most incompatible woman.’ Charming.

Personally I felt that the plot was somewhat predictable but, just in case you weren’t already aware, I am a sucker for a clichéd love story. I began to warm towards Don and, not only like him, but I also came to root for him in his quest to find his perfect woman. I joined him on his journey, feeling happy for him at his high points as well as short pangs of sadness whenever the author dictated I should.

So all-in-all, I am not sure what to make of the book at all. I’m not sure if I didn’t like it simply because of my predetermined dislike (‘hate’ was a strong word after all) of The Big Bang Theory OR if I only ended up liking it due to my predilection of clichéd love stories. My gut is ordering me to give it a rating of 3 Stars, but is that because I’m just a nice guy, or because I had too much to drink at breakfast??? Pondering my own opinion on the matter has me reconsidering the very essence and purpose of my being.

I hate this book for confusing me, but I shall lend an ear to my gut, become grossly disfigured in the process, and give The Rosie Project 3 Stars (rounded up from 2.75) out of a possible 5. After all it was an easy-to-read novel, not completely lacking in funny moments, and it was my paperback companion during the tumultuous times of the London Tube strike last week.

So if you’ve read the book; do not be shy, feel free to use the comments section and share your opinions with the World! And if you’re looking for a book to read this summer that was originally published two summer’s ago, The Rosie Project may be just what you were looking for.

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Dark Fantasy At It’s Finest

I don’t claim to be psychic, but you are currently sat at home, twiddling your thumbs and with nothing much going on in your life. To me these seem like the only plausible conditions for someone to be reading my blog post. You are clueless as to what to do, all your short-term goals have thus far been accomplished and, by that, I mean you’re fully up-to-date with; Suits, Arrow, Orange Is The New Black and whatever else people are watching these days. Either that or you’re patiently waiting for the new Sherlock season to come on TV (I won’t even mention Winds of Winter).

In any case, I might just have the answer to all of your first world problems.

What I have in mind is a story like none other, a story of; love, friendship, honour, betrayal, war, politics, deception, determination, violence, intimacy and any other vague words you can think of, literally. And no, before you say it, I’m not talking about Zoey 101, as great a show as that is. What I am talking about however is, Berserk. A 37-volume ongoing manga series written by Kentaro Miura.

Set in the ‘medieval times’ we are originally introduced to the story’s main protagonist, Guts, a mysterious, muscular fellow dressed all in black, possessing a sacrificial brand on his neck and wielding a sword far larger than any sword has the right to be.

And these were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little girl!

The World in which Guts inhabits is filled with demonic beings known as apostles, who were once regular humans that were gifted supernatural powers at the price of sacrificing the ones they loved to the formidable and potent ‘God hand.’ The God Hand being 5 supreme, untouchable beings with powers that have still not been fully revealed to us. 

A truly blasphemous series, but epic nonetheless.

Without giving too much away, Guts seemingly sees it as his mission to dispose of these apostles for reasons unknown to us at the start of the story. Along the way we learn many things through the experiences of the various characters; we see how childhood events can plant deep roots within a person’s sub-conscience,  the importance of companionship, the burdens of protecting the ones we love, the unbreakable power of the human spirit and most importantly, the true price of attaining ones goals.

Many pages are dedicated to beautiful sketches of scenery with many deep quotes flying about here and there. To give an example, below is a quote from one of the main characters, Griffith:

“While many can pursue their dreams in solitude, other dreams are like great storms blowing hundreds, even thousands of dreams apart in their wake. Dreams breathe life into men and can cage them in suffering. Men live and die by their dreams. But long after they have been abandoned they still smoulder deep in men’s hearts. Some see nothing more than life and death. They are dead, for they have no dreams.”

Deep. So if you’re looking for something to read this summer, look no further than Berserk. The main problem, and it is quite a big one, is that the series is on-going. This may not seem like such a big issue but as the time between each chapter can vary considerably, it may take a long time to reach the end of this epic masterpiece.

Back to the positives, besides all the points I have already mentioned, you will also get to see some truly uncensored and gory action scenes, weird eggs with deformed human faces (Beherit!!) and also many, many explicit 18+ scenes, including the very first scene from what I remember (but it’s all about the story really!).

Thanks for reading and let me know if you’ve read the series, of any other recommendations you may have OR let me know what you think of the possibility of the existence of extra-terrestrial life, because that’s always an interesting topic.

Chow.

Added notes from my editor,  the ever-efficient,  sentenced-correcting, spell-checking Seemeen:

tbh I don’t see why the possibility of extra terrestrial life is so hard for people to believe, it’s a possibility init

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