What a delightful surprise this book was. I really just downloaded this on impulse while drunk-browsing Amazon (not really an activity I recommend, what with one-click buying; also, I bought concurrently the Worst Book Ever, so this method of book selection is not dependable). This book is not my genre; I am a 47-year-old homeschooling mom, not chic or worldly by any measure and I might know three gay people - five if you count those closeted cousins everyone starts whispering about at Christmas dinners as they pass into their forties still single. Anyway - I can’t really imagine myself raving to my friends that they simply must read this delightful book about a gay man gone slightly to seed, never really having succeeded in the writing world. But it simply must have five stars.The craftsmanship of this novel is superb. In this aspect, the best book I have read this year. The author, Greer, turns a phrase like an old, Bavarian clocksmith tools a beautiful, yet functional, work of art. It is majestic. And Greer hid that Easter Egg in the chapter in Paris - an old house all covered in vines - and I laughed my ass off. I wonder how many other references there were that blew over my head; I imagine that can’t have been the only ingenius treasure. It was excellent.I’m close to the age of the protagonist, Arthur Less (also a magnificent use of words, by the way - less of an author) and his melancholy and insecurities ring true for me every moment. Too young for this love, too old for that; obscure, inadequate, never the headliner, always the warm-up act; I understood Less all too well. He is me, which is pretty darn surprising as I said, because my life is so differently framed from his. Who can believe this ordinary middle-aged woman with three kids can relate so resonantly to a middle-aged gay, unattached writer? Believe it, though; I am so much Less, too.