Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize): A Novel (Paperback)
Avoidance: That’s the name of the game for writer Arthur Less. When he receives a wedding invitation from his ex-boyfriend (his love of nine years), he cannot possibly accept. How to beg off without looking defeated? Accept every literary invitation for speaking engagements for the next few months...taking him all around the world. A perfect solution for avoiding all the feelings! Quirky, smart, funny, and straight-forward storytelling is what you’ll find here. A quick read indeed!— Ellen
A struggling novelist travels the world to avoid an awkward wedding in this hilarious Pulitzer Prize-winning novel full of "arresting lyricism and beauty" (The New York Times Book Review).WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
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 AwardWho 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."I could not love LESS more."--Ron Charles, The Washington Post"Andrew Sean Greer's Less is excellent company. It's no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful."--Christopher Buckley, The New York Times Book Review
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.
"Less is the funniest, smartest and most humane novel I've read since Tom Rachman's 2010 debut, The Imperfectionists....Greer writes sentences of arresting lyricism and beauty. His metaphors come at you like fireflies....Like Arthur, Andrew Sean Greer's Less is excellent company. It's no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful."
—New York Times Book Review
"Greer is an exceptionally lovely writer, capable of mingling humor with sharp poignancy.... Brilliantly funny.... Greer's narration, so elegantly laced with wit, cradles the story of a man who loses everything: his lover, his suitcase, his beard, his dignity."—Ron Charles, Washington Post
"I recommend it with my whole heart."
"A piquantly funny fifth novel."
"Greer, the author of wonderful, heartfelt novels including The Confessions of Max Tivoli, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells and The Story of a Marriage, shows he has another powerful weapon in his arsenal: comedy. And who doesn't need a laugh right about now?"—Miami Herald
"Greer elevates Less' picaresque journey into a wise and witty novel. This is no Eat, Pray Love story of touristic uplift, but rather a grand travelogue of foibles, humiliations and self-deprecation, ending in joy, and a dollop of self-knowledge."—National Book Review
"Less is perhaps Greer's finest yet.... A comic yet moving picture of an American abroad.... Less is a wondrous achievement, deserving an even larger audience than Greer's bestselling The Confessions of Max Tivoli."
—Booklist, starred review
"I adore this book. It's funny, piquant, bittersweet and so achingly observant about the vanity of writers that it made me squirm in recognition. I'll probably read it again very soon."
—Armistead Maupin, author of Tales of the City
"A fast and rocketing read with everything I want from a story--moments of high humor, moments of genuine wisdom, sharp insights and gorgeous images. A wonderful, wonderful book!"
—Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves