Book of the Month for September is one of my favourite novels: Less by Andrew Sean Greer. This satirical comedy novel won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2018 – a rare achievement for a comedy – and is worth finding time for in your busy lives. Your heart will grow three sizes if you do.
Less is a novel about love, ageing, regret, loneliness and happiness. Our protagonist, Arthur Less, is a struggling writer who is about to turn fifty. And he isn’t happy about it. When a wedding invitation arrives from an ex-boyfriend, Arthur knows he can’t go and face the shame and humiliation of attending alone. So he embarks upon a sporadic trip around the world to avoid the wedding, attending writing conferences and various other events that he had previously shunned. What follows is a very funny tale of the lengths Arthur will go to avoid facing his fears.
The musical prose and continuous moments of hilarity make this novel delightful, but it’s depiction of the highs and lows of love make this story one which you will adore, and then bug all of your friends to read, too.
Happiness is not bullshit
This really is a superb novel. A rare gem that makes you laugh out loud repeatedly but also tugs at your heart strings. Arthur Less may be helpless but he is loveable. And the lyrical and musical prose is of the highest order. I can honestly say it is one of the best works of fiction I have ever read in any genre (and I have read a lot). If you only ever read one of my recommendations, read this one.
You can buy Less in paperback or digital download from the author’s website.
And if you liked this article check out my Book of the Month blog series. This free, informal book club introduces a variety of fiction/non-fiction authors and genres to keep you entertained.
Don’t have time for novels? Enjoy ten-minute reads. Check out my short stories.