Rambling about books

Book review: Less, by Andrew Sean Greer

Book cover from Goodreads

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Less

Author: Andrew Sean Greer

Genre: Contemporary, Fiction

Goodreads link

What do I think?

The first time I saw this book, I could not find it in me to interested, even though I had loved the author’s other book, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells. But, the second time I saw the book hanging on the shelves at a small bookstore whilst I was on my layover in Miami, I thought, “what’s the harm in giving this book a read, even though it was not historical fiction?”

You know what? I’m glad I bought this book.

There was something bittersweet, melodramatic, and self deprecating about the story and our main character, Arthur Less. He was over the top dramatic, what with choosing to travel to seven different countries, rather than just simply not attend his ex-lover’s wedding. He’s also self deprecating in the way he always jumps to the most possible worst case scenario every time things felt out of place. And obviously, the author never fails in delivering such poetic but bittersweet words as he tells the story of Arthur Less.

This book was beautiful, and yet I cannot find it me how to best explain what’s so beautiful about Arthur Less’ story; it just is. The simplicity and the confusing aspect of Less’ life drawn me so much into the book. I really could not put the book down.

Maybe, I am enchanted by Less, much like so many people he have met and touched. In the end, this is one of those very rare books and stories about love that I love so much.

What’s the story about?

Taken from Goodreads

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.

I feel like I just understood how to be young.

..

It’s like the last day in a foreign country. You finally figure out where to get coffee, and drinks, and a good steak. And then you have to leave. And you won’t ever be back.

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