I’ve joked that a friend once recommended a Dan Brown book and I no longer take recommendations from her, but I lied. Less was her suggestion and I am so so glad I listened.
Arthur Less’s 50th birthday is approaching, as is the wedding of the young man he was until very recently dating. He’d prefer to deal with neither of these things, so he instead accepts every other invitation on his desk and signs up to send most of the year traveling much of the world, flitting in and out of countries and events. Too often, novels about novelists feel smugly self-indulgent and too tongue-in-cheek meta for their own good, but Less, in its own way, is quite small and sweet.
The writing itself is absolutely gorgeous, just flush with witty turns of phrase and unexpected humor. Overall, this is a book about love – Less reflects on his first love while trying to avoid mourning his last as he bounces from Mexico to Germany to France to Morocco to India to Japan. It’s just lovely.
The one almost negative thing I will say about it is that as Less floats adrift through his world, the writing can follow suit and sometimes it would take me a page or two to realize I had missed something significant (like a fall that lands him in the hospital). It was weird to read a book that had its head so far in the clouds, you could complete bypass what was going on on the ground.
Bingo Square: Rainbow Flag