Ask a Bookseller: 'Less'

A book cover.
"Less" by Andrew Sean Greer.
Courtesy of the publisher

This week's bookseller is Melodie Edwards, who co-owns Night Heron Books & Coffeehouse, a used bookstore in Laramie, Wyo. Edwards recently had a chance to read the satire "Less" by Andrew Sean Greer, and she recommends it as a laugh-out-loud funny novel to keep you company this summer.

Edwards says the story reminds her of a fictional version of "Eat, Pray, Love," in which a protagonist decides to travel the world to escape a broken heart. In this case, that protagonist is Arthur Less, middling, mid-career author. His newest work has just been rejected from his publisher; he's turning 50; and his ex-boyfriend is about to get married to someone else.

Arthur decides to flee — and travel the world — by accepting every conference and literary event invitation he can pull together. On the way, he will almost fall in love, almost die, and encounter a number of wildly funny adventures.

Part love story, part American abroad, part insight into the writer's mind as he wrestles characters into shape, "Less" won the Pulitzer Prize in 2018. Greer went on to write an equally funny sequel, "Less is Lost," which means that readers who encounter Arther Less now can dive straight from one to the next.

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