I think it’s pretty safe to say that Less shocked everyone when it won last year’s Pulitzer. The Pull-it-sir winner heard ’round the world… is a comedic break-up novel about a middle-aged gay man who travels the world Jules-Verne-style? You betcha!!
From the back cover:
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 invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. Question: How do you arrange to skip town? Answer: You accept them all. What could possibly go wrong? Thus begins an around-the-world-in-eighty-days fantasia that will take the novelist Arthur Less to Mexico, Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, and Japan and put thousands of miles between him and the plight he refuses to face.
“How can so many things become a bore by middle age- philosophy, radicalism, and other fast foods- but heartbreak keeps its sting?”
-Andrew Sean Greer, Less
Reading Less was a strange experience for me, because I didn’t really *feel* anything toward it. It’s an entertaining read, and it’s well-written for sure, but I felt slightly underwhelmed especially considering all of the hype surrounding it. I enjoyed reading about the trials and tribulations of main character Arthur Less, about the humiliation and embarrassment that he faces: in his career, in his relationships, and in his travels (though he might not realize it). But an appreciation for Greer’s prose and character development are about the extent of my feelings towards Less.
I can’t exactly determine whether or not I’d recommend Less, but I can say that it’s certainly an entertaining novel, and it reminded me of why I love reading to begin with: to be entertained, and to escape within a world I might never experience for myself.
Find this book on Goodreads.