Tuesday 6 August 2019

Book Review: Less by Andrew Sean Greer (Contemporary Fiction)

Title: Less
Author: Andrew Sean Greer
Little Brown

Publication Date: 2018 (2017)
Contemporary Fiction
Secondhand/Borrowed Copy


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.

The blurb for Less caught my attention when I saw the book among the pile my colleague had brought in to swap/share. I wasn't completely sure what to expect when I opened the first page, but I ended up loving it from start to finish. Greer has woven a delightful tale that warms the heart while also making you laugh out loud. Arthur Less is an engaging character in whose innocent mishaps we can recognise something of ourselves. I was really rooting for him throughout, and I was happy with how the tale concluded. Definitely a book to pick up if you are looking for a quick, light read to lift your spirits.

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