by Andrew Sean Greer

Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. To avoid an ex-boyfriend's wedding, a failed novelist attends literary events around the world.

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0 positive comments

4 neutral comments

1 negative comments

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What people are saying on Twitter (sample)

  • A five year age gap does not become less creepy when the 15 year old becomes 17 years old, book.
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  • Children—Jill Soloway's therapist told them—"take those parts of ourselves that make us less likely to be loved by… https://t.co/whxI7QDAbc
  • 1 positive comments

    0 neutral comments

    2 negative comments

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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • 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.
    • After I started reading Less I immediately thought “So, why did this win the Pulitzer?” Then, about half way through, I began to understand. By the time we get to Morocco with Arthur Less, I was mentally comparing Less to Lolita, though the characters are nothing alike. While you hate the protagonist Humbert in Lolita, there is no denying the power of the novel. And where you will love the protagonist Arthur Less, it is the writing that shines here, not the sweep of the story or the depth of the characters. Is there a literary genre called Profound Humorous Romps? That’s where this book belongs. This is not a “gay” book, but Arthur is gay. This is not a story about middle age, but Arthur is confronting his own aging. This is a story about how humans are constantly swimming upstream against life. This is a story about how humans are old or young or bald or sad or beautiful or boring and sometimes we are more, but sometimes we are…(wait for it)…Less. I just hope Arthur turns sixty really soon, and Andrew Greer brings us a new book so we can ride shotgun again with Less.
    • The least attractive part of "Less" is the main character, Less himself. He's a shlump. Unappealing and frankly uninteresting. Beyond that, the writing is show-offy, making you conscious of the author's choice of words and structure. To be fair, I did not finish the book. I got about 1/3rd of the way through and just didn't care what happened in the rest of the book.
    • I'm encouraged to see that I'm not the only one who thought this book wasn't so hot. After reading all the pages of raving blurbs, I thought I'd really be in for a treat. But I couldn't believe in it (and this is from another aging--okay, old--gay man). I spent so much energy slogging through the writer's attempts to be clever in every single sentence that I couldn't get involved with the character or story. I will admit that I laughed out loud a few times, and that's a lot more than I get out of the majority of books I read, but overall it was tedious, difficult reading. I was left wondering if "winner of the Pulitzer prize" was just part of the title--a bit of irony based on Less's older lover's having won the prize.
    • There are some beautiful turns of phrase in here, and some good characters and an interesting story. I read it and enjoyed it, but a Pulitzer??! No. I think not. It just didn't have enough- of anything! Characters weren't deep enough or real enough, writing wasn't amazing enough, story wasn't interesting enough. It needed more. Shame on you, Pulitzer committee.