Less is Lost
'An emotional and soul-searching sequel' (Sunday Times) to the bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning Less
The awkward and lovable hero of Andrew Sean Greer's bestselling and prize-winning novel Less returns in this unforgettable road trip across America.
'Wildly, painfully funny' David Sedaris
'Unforgettable' Elizabeth Day
'The joyfulness of this book is a balm' Madeline Miller
'What a joy' Katie Kitamura
For Arthur Less, life is going surprisingly well: he is a moderately accomplished novelist in a steady relationship with his partner, Freddy Pelu. But nothing lasts: the death of an old lover and a sudden financial crisis has Less running away from his problems yet again as he accepts a series of literary gigs that send him on a zigzagging adventure across the US.
Less roves across the 'Mild Mild West', through the South and to his mid-Atlantic birthplace, with an ever-changing posse of writerly characters and his trusty duo - a human-like black pug, Dolly, and a rusty camper van nicknamed Rosina. He grows a handlebar mustache, ditches his signature gray suit, and disguises himself in the bolero-and-cowboy-hat costume of a true 'Unitedstatesian'... with varying levels of success, as he continues to be mistaken for either a Dutchman, the wrong writer, or, worst of all, a 'bad gay'.
We cannot, however, escape ourselves - even across deserts, bayous, and coastlines. From his estranged father and strained relationship with Freddy, to the reckoning he experiences in confronting his privilege, Arthur Less must eventually face his personal demons. With all of the irrepressible wit and musicality that made Less a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning, must-read breakout book, Less Is Lost is a profound and joyous novel about the enigma of life, the riddle of love, and the stories we tell along the way.
Greer follows up his Pulitzer-winning Less with another delightful road story featuring middle-aged writer Arthur Less. This time, he's traveling across the U.S., hoping to raise money to salvage his home with partner Freddy Pelu. Freddy, who narrates the story and has lived with Less for nine blissful months in San Francisco, has recently taken a teaching sabbatical in Maine, where Less plans to join him. But after the death of Less's former lover, the poet Robert Brownburn, the estate hits him up for 10 years of back rent on Brownburn's former house, where he now lives with Freddy. He assures Freddy he'll make everything okay by paying it back with magazine articles and other literary gigs. Soon Less is off to do a profile of a famous sci-fi author, who has Less drive him and his pug in a camper van to Santa Fe, N.Mex., for an onstage interview. Along the way, Less accidentally floods a commune, sleeps in a tepee, and rides a donkey down a canyon. After a cascading series of humorous mishaps, Less wonders if Freddy will leave him. Though a bit overboard at times, Greer packs in plenty of humor and some nicely poignant moments. Fans will eat this up.