Less: A Novel

This humorous Pulitzer Prize winner (8 hours and 17 minutes) was published in July of 2017 by Hachette Audio. The audiobook takes you to Paris, Berlin, Morocco, and more. Melissa listened to Less and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.

amazon
buy
rule

Less

A Novel

Andrew Sean Greer

Arthur Less is a working writer who’s yet to pen a best-seller. He’s gay, almost 50, and his ex-lover is about to get married. There’s only one reasonable thing to do: take off on a trip around the world.

What Arthur doesn’t expect, however, is that his far-flung adventures will be the key to finding his way home.

Our hero’s escapist trip takes him to a series of increasingly dubious writing events around the globe: from San Francisco to Mexico, Italy, Germany, France, Morocco, India, Japan, and back to the city by the bay. He’s no smooth operator, and his escapades include falling in love and out of windows, weathering a desert sandstorm, and being judged by a group of precocious high school students.

Along the way, we meet his friends, acquaintances, and paramours, including his arch-nemesis, a series of acquaintances that change Arthur’s life, and his first love and lifelong friend Robert. Everywhere he goes, Arthur inadvertently charms the people he meets, and, eventually, he learns how to love himself.

While the prose of this sweet, wistful, funny, life-affirming novel is light and sparkly, it’s equally intelligent and is emotionally, unerringly true. The thoughtful characters live and breathe on the page, loving each other and making messy mistakes.

In 2018, Andrew Sean Greer and Less won the Pulitzer Prize: ‘It’s not that I’m not aware of the horrible way the world is, he said in an interview with The Guardian. ‘It’s that I can’t bear it. So I wrote a book that tackles that, but is about joy.’

This is one of those exceptional books that might inspire you to flip it over when you reach the last page, so you can start all over again at the beginning.

Narrator Robert Petkoff is an American stage actor known for his work in productions of Shakespeare and he gives voice to the humor of Arthur Less’s experiences. Alternately poignant, wry, charming, and clueless, his Arthus is sometimes frustrating and always irresistible.

He kisses — how do I explain it? Like someone in love. Like he has nothing to lose. Like someone who has just learned a foreign language and can use only the present tense and only the second person. Only now, only you. There are some men who have never been kissed like that. There are some men who discover, after Arthur Less, that they never will be again. — Andrew Sean Greer

*Pssst… this interview with Andrew Sean Greer in The New Yorker is great.

keep reading

Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got the best hangouts in Chicago, streaming shows from UK National Theater, a short story from Andrew Sean Greer, and more.
Arthur Less is a medium-successful author with an OK life. But he's turning 50, his ex-boyfriend's in love — and Arthur is invited to the wedding. He does the only reasonable thing: he takes a trip around the world.
Imagine it: a day devoted to reading one great book. Squishy clothes, comfort food, and page after page of an utterly involving story. You can make it happen with just a little prep work; we'll show you how.

sharing is caring!

Wanna help us spread the word? If you like this page, please share with your friends.

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

If you like the work we do, you can help support us through our Patreon! That'll unlock additional content, too — like Mel's recipe for Banh Mi Bowls, and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.

This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.
follow us

Content on this site is © 2021 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.