I saw that Less won the Pulitzer Prize and was available at my library so I checked it out. The award is the ONLY thing I knew about the book when I began reading it. Less is about Andrew Less, a writer about to turn fifty and going through some sort of mid-life crisis. His younger, on again/off again boyfriend is getting married and his book is rejected by his publisher. He uses the opportunity to accept offers that he has to travel the world and calamity ensues.
Less is inherently a funny book, which surprised me as I do not think of funny books a Pulitzer Prize winners, generally speaking. It is a very dry and subtle humor but funny nevertheless. My personal favorite joke was about an Italian mob that made soap, it was just one line but I full gut-laughed. I really enjoyed the protagonist and it made me think that I am not entirely sure that I have read a book with a singular, gay protagonist before, at the very least, none comes to mind. Obviously, this is a failing of mine to break out of my own viewpoints. I found that to be disappointing as I imagine myself to be more … worldly(?) (is cultured better?) …. than that. That fact was made abundantly obvious in Less. The main character’s book is rejected as it was, essentially, a book about a gay man walking the streets of San Francisco and evaluating his own life. The editor told our protagonist that HIS protagonist is not sympathetic or interesting enough, that he was basically just another white male lamenting his struggles. Andrew Less points out that his sexuality makes him different and the editor says something to the effect of “It’s 2019, he just a white guy, we need real diversity.” I loved it but it really highlighted my own shortcomings. I hope that’s a good thing that I can now work on.
Long story short, this was a good read, perfect for summer. I know that it is supposed to be fall but where I live (DC) it is still summer.