Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less” is my fourth five-star book of the year! I laughed out loud at Less’s antics and mishaps and loved how Greer was able to use humor and fun to also make poignant points about life.
Less won the Pulitzer Prize this year, an honor I think it is most deserving of.
The book focuses on Arthur Less, a failed novelist whose boyfriend of nine years is about to get married to another man. Less descides the best way to avoid the wedding is to skip town. But not just to the other side of the country, but the other side of the world. Less accepts invitations to speak, write or just travel in Mexico, Germany, Italy, Spain, Morocco and more. It’s a trip he uses as an escape, and one that opens his eyes much more to the world around him.
However, Less also is kind of a mess, and has plenty of missteps and mishaps on his adventures; all which are hilariously executed by Greer’s deft hand.
“Where was he? Somewhere in there he lost the first phase of youth, like the first phase of a rocket; it had fallen, depleted, behind him. And here was the second. And last. He swore he would not give it to anyone; he would enjoy it. He would enjoy it alone. But: how to live alone and yet not be alone?”
This book made me laugh more than any in recent memory (though to be honest, books don’t make me laugh that often), and I grew to adore Less as a character, even if he is quite self-pitying and at times needs to be more self-aware.
Throughout the book Greer peppers great insights about what it means to be human, and all the love, loss, heartbreak, hilarity, melancholy and excitement that goes with it.
Five out of five stars.