By Andrew Sean Greer
What’s it about? Arthur Less is a novelist who is quickly approaching his fiftieth birthday. He is gay and has two decade-long relationships in his past. He receives an invitation to the wedding of his last great love and just can not face the ridicule he feels will be heaped upon him if he should attend. He conveniently takes every invitation, to every mediocre event he has been invited to attend in the last few months, and replies yes to them all. He will avoid the event and his fiftieth birthday by taking a trip around the world.
What did it make me think about? The character of Arthur Less is a bumbling, innocent, kind gay man. Because of this, I have heard this book described as a “gay” novel. I could not disagree more- I just think it is a novel where the main character happens to be gay. This story is about being a human being. How we are more- and we are less- depending on the day. Arthur Less is often overlooked and forgotten, but he has also been loved- and that is everything.
Should I read it? So I kept hearing about this novel being SO funny- I would say this novel looks at life with a wry sense of humor. It’s the writing and the sense of humor that set this novel apart- but do not expect to be guffawing through this book. You will smile a lot though. Andrew Sean Greer is a beautiful writer. I loved “The Story of a Marriage” and “The Adventures of Max Tivoli”. I was so pleased when I finally picked this book up to realize it was by the same author. I highly recommend this book!!! I can’t imagine who would not be rooting for Arthur Less by the last page. I can’t wait to re-read this one!