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Less

Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (271 ratings)

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Summary

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2018. 

Who says you can't run away from your problems?

Arthur Less is a failed novelist about to turn 50. 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 is a novel about mishaps, misunderstandings and the depths of the human heart.

©2018 Andrew Sean Greer (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

Critic reviews

 "Bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful." (New York Times

 "You will sob little tears of joy." (Nell Zink)

"A fast and rocketing read...a wonderful, wonderful book!" (Karen Joy Fowler)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable. Less is definitely moreish.

Knowing that this novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2018, I had high hopes of a great experience . It was certainly a really good read and it had moments of comic genius, high drama and heart-breaking poignancy.

Arthur Less, an author of lukewarm fame, is a memorable character. He runs away from his problems, painful memories, difficult situations, his need for professional recognition and his agent/publisher. Amongst all of this he is plagued by the notion that perhaps no-one will ever truly love him or his writing. In order to avoid his ex-lover's wedding he sets off on a journey around the world and in doing so he opens himself up to new experiences and painful memories. But his return home brings, perhaps, the start of the greatest journey of his life.

The narration of this novel was pitch perfect and added to a truly satisfying experience. Major prize-winning novels can often disappoint but this one certainly lived up to the lavish praise it received from critics.

6 people found this helpful

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Less is wonderful, charming and full of humanity!

My review headline might as well be for Arthur Less in the torn blue suit falling from the sky, frantically re-working his novel! I absolutely love this book and guess what? It's the first comic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize! This is such a beautifully and richly written book. I am writing this review while at the last 50 minutes of narration. I have paused it because like Arthur Less who took five years to read Proust, I just don't want it to end. I'm savoring every single line and Robert Petkoff is an excellent narrator. I will truly miss Arthur Less, just turned 50, in Osaka and about to return to San Francisco. Don't leave Less! I'm going to have to walk to the bookstore to order a hard copy of the novel, put it on my bookshelf and re-read it when I'm 49.

3 people found this helpful

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Incredible

An extremely relatable story, tender and amusing well developed characters. Paints an incredibly vivid journey!

3 people found this helpful

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Dull with frustrating timeline

wandering narrative with frustrating timeline, switching back and forth without segway. Unlikeable protagonist and painfully descriptive.

1 person found this helpful

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dull

dull dull dull. not funny, not clever, honestly dont bother. unless you need a cure for insomnia.

1 person found this helpful

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beautifully written story, wonderfully narrated

I loved this book, it was beautifully written and equally wonderfully narrated. My favourite book this year.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful

Witty, moving, laugh-out loud, intricate and profound. A wonderful novel, brilliantly read. Highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant

I listen to this on a whim, and I’m so glad I did. It’s brilliantly beautiful.

1 person found this helpful

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Gets better

It took me a while to warm to Arthur Less, but there are some very funny parts which are worth holding out for. Is it a love story? Probably.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A nice book - thats all I can say

I think that being the Pulitzer Prize winner means that you go into this book with very high expectations but I am not sure that it lived up to the, probably, uninvited hype. Don't get me wrong its a nice story about a man named Arthur Less who travels the world to avoid dealing with his ex boyfriends wedding and meets strangers and friends along the way . It is well written, the characters enjoyable and a very good narrator, but I am not sure this book had the impact that I expected it to. Its a nice book, I'm afraid that is all I can say. I didn't laugh, I didn't cry, but I did listen to the whole book through and was left thinking 'yeah that was ok.'

2 people found this helpful

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  • Susan Myers
  • 17-01-19

Meh

A bit of a nothing story I have to say. I want my how ever many hours back!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-12-18

Arthur Less

Loved this story. I travelled the world. I witnessed love, laughed and even shed a tear. Brilliant.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-11-18

Overall

Overall the story and the narration were really good. I gave it 4 stars cause some parts of the didnt draw me in as much

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  • J. M. Allais
  • 06-11-18

'Less' is a great read and listen

I loved both the book and the audio book. It is a warm human story about recognisable people. But my husband found it dull - It's doesn't have enough action so I wouldn't recommend it for lovers of action.