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Publisher's Summary

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018 

Arthur Less is a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the post: it is from an ex-boyfriend of nine years who is engaged to someone else. Arthur can't say yes - it would be too awkward; he can't say no - it would look like defeat. So, he begins to accept the invitations on his desk to half-baked literary events around the world. 

From France to India, Germany to Japan, Arthur almost falls in love, almost falls to his death, and puts miles between him and the plight he refuses to face. Less is a novel about mishaps, misunderstandings and the depths of the human heart.

©2017 Andrew Sean Greer (P)2017 Little, Brown Book Group

Critic Reviews

 "Bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful." (New York Times

 "You will sob little tears of joy." (Nell Zink)

"A fast and rocketing read...a wonderful, wonderful book!" (Karen Joy Fowler)

What listeners say about Less

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Mesmerising

What a pleasant, meandering and absolutely engaging novel. The story stumbles along like the protagonist without ever missing a step , leaving the listener always wanting more.

3 people found this helpful

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Genuine greatness

Wildly funny in places. Also precise and original about the mysteries/miseries of love.
And the audio version holds up very well to the beauty of the text.

4 people found this helpful

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A Great Holiday read

Very enjoyable book from the beginning to the end. It’s thoughtful, enjoyable, laugh out loud funny and yet by the end you become self reflective. Masterfully written full of lyrical prose, can be read on a number of levels.
This is well worth the time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Arj
  • 19-08-2019

Excellent book and great narration (with one major problem)

With its keen observations and lyrical prose, the book is excellent and worthy of its Pulitzer. The performance by Robert Petkoff is great, but the way he delivers accents (Indian, Moroccan, Japanese...) is cringeworthy, inaccurate and distracting. Unless these accents are performed by people from these respective countries, they can turn into caricatures that are unnecessary and racially insensitive, and that’s what has happened here (it’s like Hollywood portrayals of different nationalities circa 1950). When you read a book, you don’t imagine yourself reading in different accents, and the same should be the case for audiobook narrators.

2 people found this helpful

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My Book Of The Year

Everything, every moment, every word of this book is so beautifully crafted. The narration by Robert Petkoff couldn’t be more perfect. Day after day I would stop reading and quietly reflect on this exquisite work. Usually a greedy reader, I took my time and soaked in every emotional glorious moment.

2 people found this helpful

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A bit self indulgent

Self indulgent and a somewhat disappointing ending. Motivations of the character in the final chapter are entirely unknown, and it all seems a bit random and unexplained, if entirely expected. The narration was good and kept me going to the end.

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A surprise package

Slow to engage with this one, it took me by surprise about a quarter in. Got to the end and fell like I'm going to miss Arthur Less.

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A fabulous tale

A love story that’ll make you laugh out loud and warm your heart and soul in equal measure. Complex characters brought to life with a deftness that makes you wish they weren’t fiction.

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Not my cup of tea

I read this book for my book club. I found the main character’s lack of self confidence and self loathing a bit over the top. He spends the whole book belittling himself despite the fact that the rest of the characters he comes into contact with seem to fall at his feet. It gets a bit old and I kind of just kept waiting and waiting for the actual story to begin.

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Arthur Less is a good gay after all...

I loved this book, so well written it sneaks up on you how good it is. Got me right where it hurts - the heart.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-03-2022

Wicked wit!

I have not been entertained by such excellent storytelling in many years. Loved every second of the writing, the easy flow of language and skillful narrating unlocking an exciting ‘visualisation’ of all the characters.
It made growing gayer and older more fun than the somewhat fearful truth.

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  • Susan Myers
  • 17-01-2019

Meh

A bit of a nothing story I have to say. I want my how ever many hours back!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-12-2018

Arthur Less

Loved this story. I travelled the world. I witnessed love, laughed and even shed a tear. Brilliant.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-11-2018

Overall

Overall the story and the narration were really good. I gave it 4 stars cause some parts of the didnt draw me in as much

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  • J. M. Allais
  • 06-11-2018

'Less' is a great read and listen

I loved both the book and the audio book. It is a warm human story about recognisable people. But my husband found it dull - It's doesn't have enough action so I wouldn't recommend it for lovers of action.

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  • bookylady
  • 06-02-2019

Very enjoyable. Less is definitely moreish.

Knowing that this novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2018, I had high hopes of a great experience . It was certainly a really good read and it had moments of comic genius, high drama and heart-breaking poignancy.

Arthur Less, an author of lukewarm fame, is a memorable character. He runs away from his problems, painful memories, difficult situations, his need for professional recognition and his agent/publisher. Amongst all of this he is plagued by the notion that perhaps no-one will ever truly love him or his writing. In order to avoid his ex-lover's wedding he sets off on a journey around the world and in doing so he opens himself up to new experiences and painful memories. But his return home brings, perhaps, the start of the greatest journey of his life.

The narration of this novel was pitch perfect and added to a truly satisfying experience. Major prize-winning novels can often disappoint but this one certainly lived up to the lavish praise it received from critics.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Lin Becker
  • 01-03-2019

Less is wonderful, charming and full of humanity!

My review headline might as well be for Arthur Less in the torn blue suit falling from the sky, frantically re-working his novel! I absolutely love this book and guess what? It's the first comic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize! This is such a beautifully and richly written book. I am writing this review while at the last 50 minutes of narration. I have paused it because like Arthur Less who took five years to read Proust, I just don't want it to end. I'm savoring every single line and Robert Petkoff is an excellent narrator. I will truly miss Arthur Less, just turned 50, in Osaka and about to return to San Francisco. Don't leave Less! I'm going to have to walk to the bookstore to order a hard copy of the novel, put it on my bookshelf and re-read it when I'm 49.

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  • Kiki Clarke
  • 25-11-2018

Incredible

An extremely relatable story, tender and amusing well developed characters. Paints an incredibly vivid journey!

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  • Anthony Bennis
  • 01-06-2019

Dull with frustrating timeline

wandering narrative with frustrating timeline, switching back and forth without segway. Unlikeable protagonist and painfully descriptive.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Chestnut
  • 13-04-2019

beautifully written story, wonderfully narrated

I loved this book, it was beautifully written and equally wonderfully narrated. My favourite book this year.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Oliver
  • 08-02-2019

Wonderful

Witty, moving, laugh-out loud, intricate and profound. A wonderful novel, brilliantly read. Highly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-01-2019

Brilliant

I listen to this on a whim, and I’m so glad I did. It’s brilliantly beautiful.

2 people found this helpful

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  • J. F. Wrin
  • 23-10-2018

Gets better

It took me a while to warm to Arthur Less, but there are some very funny parts which are worth holding out for. Is it a love story? Probably.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ziiigggg
  • 12-05-2019

yes and ?

I cant think what to write as a review that would actually be helpful here. This story is a mildly amusing character study about a hapless man travelling in wildly different countries (who really would go from mexico to germany to morocco to japan with the same few clothes and one after other.. ..) with the expected happy ending and thats all.
Also a fatal flaw - given that Arthur Less is supposed to be unlucky, accident prone etc. its a bit of a stretch to believe this when he is on an all expenses paid world trip, meets amazing people, wins a literary prize, is lauded wherever he goes, gets plenty of sex, is tall blonde handsome etc. He is hardly one of life’s losers.
Is this story worth spending a credit on ?
Doubtful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Caroline
  • 12-09-2018

A nice book - thats all I can say

I think that being the Pulitzer Prize winner means that you go into this book with very high expectations but I am not sure that it lived up to the, probably, uninvited hype. Don't get me wrong its a nice story about a man named Arthur Less who travels the world to avoid dealing with his ex boyfriends wedding and meets strangers and friends along the way . It is well written, the characters enjoyable and a very good narrator, but I am not sure this book had the impact that I expected it to. Its a nice book, I'm afraid that is all I can say. I didn't laugh, I didn't cry, but I did listen to the whole book through and was left thinking 'yeah that was ok.'

3 people found this helpful

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