Arthur Less, a 50 year old self proclaimed failed novelist whose lifetime achievements are merely by association. On his desk sit numerous invitations to literary award ceremonies, speaking engagements, and teaching positions around the world. On top of the pile, a wedding invitation. From his former boyfriend, of nearly 10 years.
In the face of an incredibly uncomfortable situation, and in an attempt to not appear sullen – our protagonist responds simply to the wedding invitation that cannot attend for he will be out of town – He then accepts every other invitation and packs his bags for an around the world trip.
Less will take you, on a journey across the globe, seemingly over packed with opportunities for failure and embarrassment. On every stop he is determined that he has been invited by mistake, that he is irrelevant in comparison to those he is surrounded with. Throughout it all he constantly indulges in long ago memories with his former lovers all the while engaging a few new relationships along the way.
I found the tone a bit difficult to follow at times, but nonetheless found it witty, clever and entertaining. Arthur Less embodies a rare combination of personality traits for a main character – he is neither desirable nor un-attractive, neither self-assured or confident for that matter. He simply is Arthur Less, un-apologetically – which I enjoyed.
If you are looking for a moment of clarity or path of self-improvement from our protagonist, you’re looking at the wrong book. If you’re looking for a light read that will paint a picture of adventure through many historic countries from the eyes of a foreigner, narrated by a refreshing voice, you’ll be delighted with Less.
Reviewed by: Annie