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Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize)
Cover of Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize)
Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize)
A Novel
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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).
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
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.
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).
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
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.
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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of five works of fiction, including The Confessions of Max Tivoli, which was named a best book of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune. He is the recipient of the Northern California Book Award, the California Book Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, the O Henry award for short fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Public Library. Greer lives in San Francisco. He has traveled to all of the locations in this novel, but he is only big in Italy.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 29, 2017
    In Greer’s wistful new novel, a middle-aged writer accepts literary invitations around the world—making his way from San Francisco to New York, Mexico, Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, and Japan—so that he will have an excuse not to attend the wedding of a long-time lover. Arthur Less is not known primarily for his own work but for his lengthy romantic association with a Pulitzer Prize–winning author, an older man who was married to a woman when their liaison began, and he believes himself to be the butt of many cosmic jokes and that he is “less than” in most equations. This is partially proven true, but not entirely. And even in Less’s mediocrity, when aided by a certain amount of serendipity (and displayed by the author with ironic humor), he affects people. Greer (The Confessions of Max Tivoli), an O’Henry-winning author, writes beautifully, but his occasionally Faulknerian sentences are unnecessary. He is entirely successful, though, in the authorial sleights of hand that make the narrator fade into the background—only to have an identity revealed at the end in a wonderful surprise. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit Associates.

  • AudioFile Magazine Robert Petkoff provides a steady narration of a story for word lovers. In an attempt to forget his 50th birthday and the impending nuptials of an ex-boyfriend, Arthur Less has accepted invites to literary events around the world. But he lives in a perpetuate state of anxiety in which the smallest task causes him to be uncomfortable. So his globetrotting is not much different from his regular life, aside from some false cognates and other lost-in-translation issues--until the misadventures and state of discomfort become so much more than that. In this audiobook a clear delivery with thoughtful pauses means more than the portrayal of worldly accents. Arthur's recounting of his life's former passions--a famous writer and an older boyfriend--denote a loneliness that resounds in its simplicity. A.L.C. � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
  • Library Journal

    February 15, 2017
    It's bad enough that midlist novelist Arthur Less is approaching his 50th birthday, but now his much younger ex-boyfriend is getting married. To avoid the wedding, Arthur accepts invitations, however dubious, from literary events worldwide. From the author of the admirable The Confessions of Max Tivoli and The Impossible Life of Greta Wells; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    February 15, 2017

    It's bad enough that midlist novelist Arthur Less is approaching his 50th birthday, but now his much younger ex-boyfriend is getting married. To avoid the wedding, Arthur accepts invitations, however dubious, from literary events worldwide. From the author of the admirable The Confessions of Max Tivoli and The Impossible Life of Greta Wells; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from June 15, 2017

    This hilarious and touching novel follows Arthur Less, a gay man, as he travels around the world in order to avoid attending the wedding of his former lover. The wedding invitation was the final realization for Arthur that he never should have broken up with Freddy, and as Arthur's 50th birthday approaches, he realizes he may be alone forever. Arthur is a novelist, and although his publisher turned down his latest work, he is engaged in literary activities such as receiving an award, speaking at a conference, and teaching writing in such locations as New York City, Mexico, and Germany. He also travels to Morocco and rides a camel out into the desert. All along the way, there are wacky scenes of wrong directions taken, comic misunderstandings, and language barriers left standing. VERDICT Greer (The Confessions of Max Tivoli; The Impossible Life of Greta Wells) is both clever and compassionate as he steers Arthur through this rough period in his life, and while the book focuses on gay men and their relationships, the search for love and meaning is universal. [See Prepub Alert, 1/28/17.]--James Coan, SUNY at Oneonta Lib.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2017
    Facing his erstwhile boyfriend's wedding to another man, his 50th birthday, and his publisher's rejection of his latest manuscript, a miserable midlist novelist heads for the airport.When it comes to the literary canon, Arthur Less knows he is "as superfluous as the extra a in quaalude," but he does get the odd invitation--to interview a more successful author, to receive an obscure prize, to tour French provincial libraries, that sort of thing. So rather than stay in San Francisco and be humiliated when his younger man of nine years' standing marries someone else (he can't bear to attend, nor can he bear to stay home), he puts together a patchwork busman's holiday that will take him to Paris, Morocco, Berlin, Southern India, and Japan. Of course, anything that can go wrong does--from falling out a window to having his favorite suit eaten by a stray dog, and as far as Less runs, he will not escape the fact that he really did lose the love of his life. Meanwhile, there's no way to stop that dreaded birthday, which he sees as the definitive end of a rather extended youth: "It's like the last day in a foreign country. You finally figure out where to get coffee, and drinks, and a good steak. And then you have to leave. And you won't ever be back." Yet even this conversation occurs in the midst of a make-out session with a handsome Spanish stranger on a balcony at a party in Paris...hinting that there may be steaks and coffee on the other side. Upping the tension of this literary picaresque is the fact that the story is told by a mysterious narrator whose identity and role in Less' future is not revealed until the final pages. Seasoned novelist Greer (The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, 2013, etc.) clearly knows whereof he speaks and has lived to joke about it. Nonstop puns on the character's surname aside, this is a very funny and occasionally wise book.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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A Novel
Andrew Sean Greer
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