Saturday, June 27, 2020

#BookReview: Less - Andrew Sean Greer


4/5 Book Emojis!


Format Used: 


Publisher - Hachette India 

Pages - 264

Link to Amazon

*Note: The views below are unbiased and solely my own. Thanks to the publisher (Hachette India) for providing me a copy for an honest review. Part of #HachettePride campaign.


“Where was he? Somewhere in there he lost the first phase of youth, like the first phase of a rocket; it had fallen, depleted, behind him. And here was the second. And last. He swore he would not give it to anyone; he would enjoy it. He would enjoy it alone. But: how to live alone and yet not be alone?” 

Less by Andrew Sean Greer is a book about a 49-year-old American writer who goes on a journey across the world in order to avoid his ex-boyfriend's wedding, while making the most of his life before stepping into his 50s. Written in third person, this book is narrated by an observer of the protagonist Arthur Less, in a wonderfully hilarious tone that subtly jolts your heart with poignant undertones.

I started this book on a light-hearted note, based on reviews from others, and laughed with every page until I reached half-way. This was when the book started gaining content mass and intensity: with vigor and passionate writing facaded as humor. As a queer man who reads between the lines and [unfortunately] is known to feel too deeply, I found the character of Arthur very endearing and most definitely resonating with his unspoken existential crisis that lurks unconsciously inside the psyche of a middle-aged gay man and my personal quarter-life crisis.

The story will make a casual reader enjoy the book thoroughly while making the sensitive absorb the deep emotions that lay within the writer's mind. As from what I've learnt from his interviews, the author wrote the main character based off of his personal traits, but ended up quite independent. However, the writing never fails to reveal the deepest anxieties and the low-lying fear of dying alone that Arthur thinks about but never mentions in the book. All the events, the places, the countries and characters in the book feel extremely real which is why they strike so strongly throughout the book, making it an empathetic journey that we take in each airport and hotel room with the clueless but innocently pure Less. After every few pages, I couldn't help but associate each new character with a person, a feeling and a moment from personal experience I've had in life, so it took me more than a couple of days to fully immerse myself in this otherwise "easy-read," while looking at my old photos and sobbing over them (!).

With a stone to my heart, I'll take off one star from a perfect rating for the minor inconsistency of narration in a few dozen pages that even though is the narrator's personal character development, feels like a very slight prick for this innocent genius of a novel. The ending of the book is so perfect and magnificent that I think no one could've ever imagined being deceived by an innocent and cute cover, that bad.

Conclusion: This book should be a movie. It's for all ages and it will be a contemporary classic must-watch tear-jerker rom-com for the pure soul's sombre pleasure. Definitely recommend to everyone.

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