A Novel

Book - 2017
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A struggling novelist travels the world to avoid an awkward wedding in this hilarious Pulitzer Prize-winning novel full of "arresting lyricism and beauty" ( New York Times Book Review).

National Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book of 2017
A Washington Post Top Ten Book of 2017
A San Francisco Chronicle Top Ten Book of 2017
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, the Lambda Award and the California Book Award

"I could not love LESS more."--Ron Charles, Washington Post

"Andrew Sean Greer's Less is excellent company. It's no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful."- - Christopher Buckley , New York Times Book Review

Who says you can't run away from your problems? You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes--it would be too awkward--and you can't say no--it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.

QUESTION : How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER : You accept them all.

What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, Less is, above all, a love story.

A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author The New York Times has hailed as "inspired, lyrical," "elegiac," "ingenious," as well as "too sappy by half," Less shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.

Publisher: New York :, A Lee Boudreaux Book, Little, Brown and Company,, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316316125
Branch Call Number: FICTION Greer Andrew 07/2017
Characteristics: 263 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

List - Clever Candy Lit
JCLStefanieE Sep 12, 2018

Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a man who travels the world in an effort to avoid his ex boyfriend's wedding - an absolutely scrumptious premise.

List - Shawnee's 2017 Notables
JCLEmmaF Dec 21, 2017

A stressful trip of avoidance with a happy ending in sight.

From the critics

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Jan 16, 2019

I read this book after it was recommended when i asked about authors similar to Christopher Moore. Being a gay man close to 50 the first little bit peaked my curiousity. By the end of the second chapter i found i was reading it now only because i had started it. The story was so so and the characters were half hazardly thrown together. The entire read was quick thankfully as it just felt like the story never really came together in a way that worked. This book is more like someone took all the elements of a great read and told a group of meth heads to put it together. I was extremely disappointed in this one. Possibly because i was expecting more of a christopher Moore style and humor i was left feeling let down. I may have to give it another chance in a few years and now knowing his style it will be better.

Jan 13, 2019

Found this on the Lucky shelf and grabbed it since I had kept seeing it on the best seller list. Can't say I understand why it's an award winner or a best seller. Finished it but didn't really like it. Skimmed parts. At least it was a fast read to move onto something else.

Thegiver Jan 09, 2019

If Less is More I fail to disagree. Eat, Pray, Love meets a gay man who is running away to run away not necessarily find himself. I tried to be open-minded to the story but always felt Arthur Less just didn't get it! Could it be that's the comedy of the story that I took way too seriously? Or is it one of those books I have to read twice to finally get it.

Jan 08, 2019

In short...while I actually found the writing of Less to be smart and sometimes very witty, the story just didn't engage me enough to stay with the book through to the end. That may be a result of my own naive shortcomings; I expected a story about a comedic 'adventure' rather than a coming of middle age story about lost love and career losses. The main character was fun to chuckle at but hard to feel sympathy for.

While reading, I would be engaged...but when I went away, I quickly forgot about it, and that was the test. (so I turned to a good crime novel instead) Which is too bad, because--full disclosure--I am not familiar with the author or his writing, and I thought it was interesting & uplifting to find a story centered solely around a middle age gay man.

Jan 06, 2019

I have no idea why this won a Pulitzer. Some reviewers said it was funny? I hesitated finishing it more than once because it was depressing. Every now and then there were clever turns of phrases, but not enough to save it. Not worth reading.

Dec 26, 2018

Not sure where the recommendation for this book came from but I couldn't finish it. I had doubts, it got a little better but I now can't or don't want to try and follow the logic behind this story to complete this book. Very disconnected! This guy, Less has a story but I can't read w/ this writing style.

Dec 06, 2018

I can't understand the interest in a self-absorbed, self-pitying, shallow-minded author-as-character. You could hang a "writer at work" sign on almost every line as Greer trips over himself to get from one clever scene to the next. It felt like reading the script for a mindless sitcom - not that I've ever wasted my time on that. There was little character development, more like a cardboard representation of a character, little sense of place or time, and minor characters seemed sketched with a painfully racist pen. Pulitzer prize??? What on earth has this country come to? Oh. That's right. I forgot.

LPL_IlkaI Dec 04, 2018

Arthur Less is a failed author on the cusp of a midlife crisis of sorts. After receiving a wedding invite from an ex-lover and experiencing a subsequent mental fallout, Mr. Less soon finds himself on a globetrotting journey of self-actualization. Less is a lovable, self effacing, and amusing read that will brighten dark times. It is a treat, for sure, and worthy of its praise!

Nov 27, 2018

Very cleverly written (maybe a little too clever?) and imaginative. I loved some of the descriptions. However, I agree with some of the other reviewers - I found it difficult to engage with the characters. I finished it - it's an easy read and I've definitely read worse - but... meh.

Nov 27, 2018

Arthur Less is, unremarkable and I couldn't feel anything for him. He's not an unlike-able character but I see no reason to dig into his life. I think I was expecting a memoir feel with this book not someone looking in and dissecting his life. I couldn't emotionally connect to him or his situations. My favorite thing about him is his suit with the hot pink lining. I want one

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Jul 25, 2017

samrouthier thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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