Less by Andrew Sean Greer is rather funny in a low key manner. I had never heard of the book – it won a Pulitzer for goodness sake – but it came up as an Amazon selection for me. Hey – Jeff Bezos must know me well by now – kinda creepy, but Amazon and Netflix control my life. (You know what I mean).
So anyway – Arthur Less is turning fifty. He’s a failed novelist invited to a wedding of an old (former flame) friend and just can’t face it. What to do? He has his pride so he manages to accept speaking engagements from around the world to various literary events. He can coast on the fame of his one book and his brush with fame with older authors. Mexico, Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, and Japan – enjoy Arthur’s adventures. What could go wrong?
Back blurb – Less is a love story, a satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart.
p. 132 He admits to himself at last: It is indeed, the money. If course it is the money. And his brain suddenly decides it is not ready, after all, for fifty.
p. 162 Flight from France to Morocco – lands. The French, so stately at home, seem instantly to lose their minds on the soil of their former colony. They ignore the line, removing ropes from the carefully ordered stanchions, and become a mob charging into Marrakech.
I wasn’t convinced at first if I liked Arthur – so unsure, rather weak. I did not have a good grasp of this man holding on to his youth. But by the end of Less, I wanted more. The author did a grand job.