In the midst of all the wedding preparations and the onslaught of family descending, I still tried to sneak in time for reading. It takes a pretty interesting book to stand up to that kind of competition but Less by Andrew Greer not only stood up to the challenge but took me away from my own problems and made me laugh out loud more than once. Greer is a gifted writer and well deserving of the Pulitzer Prize he received for this book.
Arthur Less is a struggling author who is about to turn fifty and he has a dilemma. He has just received an invitation to the wedding of his former lover of nine years to someone else. To go to the wedding would be very awkward. To just not go would raise all kinds of questions in his social circle, all of whom would attend the wedding. As Arthur mulls over what to do he spots an invitation he had received to some literary event in Berlin, and suddenly it all clicks. If he is traviling to various events overseas it would give him the perfect excuse not to attend the wedding! Galvanized by this plan, Arthur, who normally avoids traveling, begins to accept offers back to back, from Paris and Berlin to Morocco, Japan and India, giving him the perfect excuse to not attend the wedding.
Travel, as everyone knows, is full of glitches and adventures, and Less, as an inexperienced travler seems more prone to glitches and adventures than most. Lost baggage, almost falling to his death in Berlin, falling in love in Paris to mention just a few are what Less experiences on this fateful journey. In between these adventures we learn about Less’ life, his mediocre writing career, the loves he has lost and found and then lost again and most of all what it means to be human.
Although Greer has framed this story as a scintillating satire of an innocent abroad, it is much more that that. It is also an unconventional love story and a meditation on that inchoate midlife yearning to somehow matter to the world. Funny and heart breaking by turns, this is a fun book to savor and enjoy!
Brenda”s Rating: *****(5 out of 5 Stars)
Recommend this book to: Keith, Sharon, Ken and Marian
Book Study Worthy? Yes
Read in ebook format.