A Novel

Book - 2017 | First edition.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend's wedding, Arthur, a failed novelist on the eve of his fiftieth birthday, embarks on an international journey that finds him falling in love, risking his life, reinventing himself, and making connections with the past.
Publisher: ©2017
New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780316316125
Characteristics: 263 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Summary: Receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend's wedding, Arthur, a failed novelist on the eve of his fiftieth birthday, embarks on an international journey that finds him falling in love, risking his life, reinventing himself, and making connections with the past.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jul 18, 2018

I agree with several other reviewers that this is a well-written novel, sometimes humorous and witty, easy to read, but lacking much depth. I am puzzled by it winning the Pulitzer Prize. It is the story of a middle-aged gay writer dreading the approach of his 50th birthday and trying to put his emotional life back together after his lover, Freddy, leaves him. He travels the world seeking insight and as an escape. I just could not connect with Arthur Less, the protagonist, as he reminisced about his previous loves and found chance, brief encounters along his journey. One aspect in particular that I found missing was any insight into his previous relationships. It seems that living with a partner for 15 years (Robert) and 9 years (Freddy) would involve more emotional connection than enjoyable romps in bed. That does not come out in the novel until perhaps the last 6-8 pages. Maybe I missed something, but I was not impressed and finished thinking I have just finished a nice, light weight summer read.

Jul 16, 2018

Too Gay? Too Gay!

Jul 01, 2018

This is a very enjoyable read; it is insightful and funny, sometimes in a bittersweet way. In some senses, the book does not have the weight and substance a Pulitzer Prize would seem to imply, but Greer has lots of great stuff to say about aging, relationships, gayness, and writing. Well worth your time (and it's relatively short, won't take you long to get through).

Jun 17, 2018

I loved this book, laughed out loud many times, and finished in two days. Then my wife read it and loved it, too.

Jun 12, 2018

At times wistful, at times wildly humorous account of Arthur Less's travels as he tries to heal a broken heart and at the same time resurrect his literary career. Mildly satirical portraits of successful creative types, and a very engaging travelogue. Enjoyable reading (I laughed out loud a few times), though I can't quite rave about it the way the Pulitzer committee did. Heartfelt, but not particularly deep.

Jun 11, 2018

Arthur Less is having a midlife crises and sets out on a round-the-world journey, hoping to make sense of it all. Irreverent, funny, thoughtful. Perfect summer reading.

May 16, 2018

This book was recommended somewhere, probably the NYT. It is a light read, in parts very funny, but not consistently. I kept plugging as it is a short book. In the end I guess I just wanted Less.

May 06, 2018

It almost has "A Man Called Ove" vibe to it. Sensitive, sweet, humorous...Sequencing the story through his visits to various continents with intertwinings of his romantic relationships, combined with his quips and thoughts on aging made for an endearing, lively piece.

May 04, 2018

As cliché as it sounds, this literary romance has heart and humanity. Arthur Less is at his personal and professional wit's end. He's been unable to convince his long-time publisher to greenlight his newest book, and his most successful relationships are all in the past. He has no one to whom he is very close, no family, and the gay community calls.him a "bad gay" for how he's been portraying them in his work. In order to do something with himself, and also to avoid going to an ex's wedding, he goes on a globetrotting trip, taking temporary academic positions others have passed on (and he normally would, too).

Greer knows how to turn a phrase, but there isn't much story here. Less moves from one mini-adventure to another, and the spiritual payoff just seems to occur because that's just what happens in stories like this. I wasn't invested too much. The jacket blurbs suggest this will have you rolling in laughter. I chuckled a bit, but I found it more heartwarming (genuinely so) than funny.

I must say that my review is tepid not because this won the Pulitzer and I'm going against the grain, but because this is my genuinely reaction to the novel. It's a pretty average book.

debwalker Apr 18, 2018

Just won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The committee calls it “a generous book, musical in its prose and expansive in its structure and range, about growing older and the essential nature of love.”

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Jul 25, 2017

samrouthier thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CML

To Top