Author: Andrew Sean Greer
Length: 261 pages
I’ve had this book on my bookshelf for a while now (recurring theme, I know) and figured now was the perfect time to read it.
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 in a novel about mishaps, misunderstandings and the depth of the human heart.
‘He kisses – how do I explain it? Like someone in love. Like someone who has just learned a foreign language and can only use 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.’
This was another book I’ve read for my Pride Month readathon. Where all month long I’ve only been reading books with LGBT+ characters.
I’d heard mixed reviews on this book, so it’s taken me a little while to pick it up. So now, I only have one question, why did I wait so long??
There’s something about this book that I can’t quite explain. It’s one of those books that slowly steals a place in your heart. I really struggled to put this down. This book is so charming and quirky, yet it’s got this deep, melancholy feel to it. But that doesn’t mean it’s depressing by any means, it will make you laugh out loud. It’s a book of quality.
Arthur Less is a character who will capture your heart. He’s so relatable, so real. I could feel his sadness throughout the book, his self doubt, his self deprecating manner. It never goes to far, he never becomes annoying. He’s so endearing.
The writing throughout this book is truly wonderful. In fact, I’d say the writing is so clever. Andrew Sean Greer has balanced this book so finely. Like I said it could’ve been depressing, but it’s just got this overall charm. Andrew has also created one of my favourite characters in modern literature in Arthur Less.
Let’s talk about the ending! I think it’s one of my favourite endings, to any book ever. I didn’t see it coming, yet it worked. It didn’t make the book lose any charm. It was wonderful. It made me gasp out loud. It filled my heart with joy, it may have made me cry.
I can’t recommend this book enough. It was wonderful. I think it’s going to be one of my favourites. It’s the kind of book that you won’t ever forget, I know I certainly won’t. I can see why it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Until the next review