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Less by Andrew Sean Greer
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Less

by Andrew Sean Greer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,9101115,973 (3.68)131
Receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend's wedding, Arthur, a failed novelist on the eve of his fiftieth birthday, embarks on an international journey that finds him falling in love, risking his life, reinventing himself, and making connections with the past.
  1. 21
    A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne (hairball)
    hairball: I read these a few weeks—maybe a month—apart. This is the really obvious pairing.
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» See also 131 mentions

English (110)  Italian (1)  All languages (111)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
This gentle summary of the advent of middle age is so insightful, witty, and poignant that it's a great choice for the Pulitzer (as one character says: it's not Pew-litzer, it's Pull-itzer) Prize for Fiction, 2018. The main character, author Arthur Less, was the lover of a famous poet for twenty years, and when the relationship ends, he is ready for a new partner but feels adrift at forty, especially in San Francisco, where most of the men his age are MIA due to AIDS. When Arthur becomes involved with the son of a long-time literary rival, he knows that it should not last due to their age gap. And so for his 50th birthday, Arthur runs away by planning a journey around the world, from Mexico to Italy to Germany to Paris to Morocco to South India. The novel is part delicious travelogue and part examination of a life that could have been lived better with more self-examination. It's a delightful read, an unusual combination of levity and substance.

Quotes: "He kisses like - how do I explain it? Like he has nothing to lose. There are some men who have never been kissed like that. There are some men who discover, after Arthur Less, that they never will be again." ( )
  froxgirl | May 15, 2020 |
I did not enjoy this book. I did not find the writing compelling, the emotional question of the novel was not deep or interesting, the stakes were generally low. It was a chore to finish. ( )
  jostie13 | May 14, 2020 |
The main character and I don't have much in common beyond being gay, about fifty years old, and prone to making gaffes. And yet I enjoyed the novel. There are both serious and comical moments, but no histrionic ones. A decent 21st-century gay novel, with the hero's sexuality neither more nor less important than if he were straight. ( )
  Stravaiger64 | May 10, 2020 |
Less is playful and unabashedly enjoyable. I think that the novel itself captures the emotional spirit of its protagonist, Arthur Less. While not shying away from deeper questions in life its concern is love and the fate of living and the necessity of risk and humor.
1 vote b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
Excellent writing, but plotless. Oh so boring. Probably the only Gay book that would interest me is biography. This is no James Baldwin. Just, gay this guy. gay that guy. Traveling round - some little glimpses of local colour, but not really worth wading through. Pulitzers are often disappointing. ( )
  c_why | Mar 25, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andrew Sean Greerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Carré, LilliIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Espinosa, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ford, SeanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JuliannaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petkoff, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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From where I sit, the story of Arthur Less is not so bad.
Quotations
By his forties, all he has managed to grow is a gentle sense of himself, akin to the transparent carapace of a soft-shelled crab.
Freddy put on his red glasses, and in each aquarium a little blue fish swam.
From the open window came the song of roofers hammering and the smell of molten tar.
Arthur Less, encircling the globe! It feels cosmonautical in nature.
It is a bad musical, but, like a bad lay, a bad musical can do its job perfectly well. By the end, Arthur Less is in tears, sobbing in his seat, and he thinks he has been sobbing quietly until the lights come up and the woman seated beside him turns and says, "Honey, I don't know what happened in your life, but I am so so sorry," and gives him a lilac-scented embrace. Nothing happened to me, he wants to say to her. Nothing happened to me. I'm just a homosexual at a Broadway show.
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Book description
Less is a satirical comedy novel by American author Andrew Sean Greer first published in 2017. It follows gay writer Arthur Less while he travels the world on a literary tour, as his fiftieth birthday looms.

The book covers themes such as romantic love, same-sex relationships, aging, and travel. Greer began writing Less as a "very serious novel" but found that "the only way to write about [being gay and aging] is to make it a funny story. And I found that by making fun of myself, I could actually get closer to real emotion – closer to what I wanted in my more serious books."[3]

Less won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.[4] In reporting the award, the Associated Press accidentally wrote the novel's title as "Fearless."[3] The book also was a New York Times best seller, won the Northern California Book Award, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction.[5]
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