Cover Image: Less Is Lost

Less Is Lost

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Member Reviews

I'll buy this one based on the fact that I have the first volume in my library already.  I liked this story about as much as I did the first one, which was just okay.  I think that this book series just isn't written for me as I have a hard time relating to some of the characters, and that's okay.  I was a little confused why it won the Pulitzer...
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I loved Less once again, but this book to me felt a bit unnecessary, though I did still like it. I think it could have improved with a better plot and pacing.
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This was a really fun follow up to LESS, and it was great getting to spend more time with Arthur on a new adventure! Greer balances plot with humor in such a compelling way, these are books I feel I can always recommend. I also interviewed Greer on my podcast, Reading the Room!
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QUICK TAKE: I might have liked it more than the first book. A beautiful story, heartbreaking and hilarious, I relate to Arthur Less as I get older, and I could spend another 3 books with him on various adventures. The ending is a bit convenient, but also feels earned and I just loved it. The audiobook is fantastic as well.
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In preparation for reading this sequel, I re-read Less, but that was not necessary–this book stands on its own. In the first book, Less, Arthur Less travels the world as he tries to ease a heartbreak. In this follow-up, Less is Lost, Arthur has been with his partner, Freddy, for some time. When his and Freddy's living arrangements are threatened and he needs a quick injection of cash flow, Arthur sets out on a journey across the USA. Greer touches upon aging, love, and family in thoughtful prose interwoven with Less' travels. This is a humorous road-trip, filled with Arthur's usual blunders, but somehow (thankfully) things always work out for Arthur Less. If only we could all be so lucky!

Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and Little, Brown and Company for the opportunity to read an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
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A fantastic follow-up to the first book, I couldn't put it down. A particular strength is the characterization of the protagonist that kept the reader emotionally involved.
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I adored Less, and I adore Less is Lost—there is such a sweet cleverness in having the narrator lovingly observe the natural bumblings of Arthur Less. The words “bumblings” and “adventures” seem to cheapen what is a dear character study, an honest heart-on-its-sleeve portrayal of middle age. I hope there is more of Less to come.
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This book is an exceptionally well written follow up to the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, "Less." I can recognize that it is a wonderful book, full of quirks and slightly larger than life characters (though not large enough that they become cartoonish in any way), and for this reason I will be recommending it to people who I know enjoy a great literary romp led by a very fleshed out, specific lead character. It is an absolute delight.
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This book was very cute and had me laughing from time to time. I think I liked it more than the first book. This was a series that I enjoyed more than I was expecting too. If you need a little pick me up series I would definitely recommend this!
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I confess I selected this book from Netgalley without hesitation because of David Sedaris’ recommendation. I would follow that man anywhere. This is a second volume about a gay author Arthur Less, and I probably should have read the Pulitzer Prize-winning first story, Less, first. But I didn’t, and although it took me a while to catch up and catch on, I did end up appreciating the story. At first it seemed to be a book for insiders, filled with jokes and observations  about the publishing world and gay culture, but gradually the humanity of Arthur Less began to drive the story — his need for love, his indecisiveness and his failings as well as his kindness and basic goodness.
And the richness of Greer’s writing made every page a delight. For example: 
“ The moon is not out yet, but there are stars, and the world that these Delawareans probably take as ordinary or even ugly—the mounds of kelp and sea litter, the hard stonelike sand, the rocks spattered with the candle wax of bird droppings, the smell of rot and life, the waves breaking into applause, and everywhere, everywhere, unstoppable life hidden or crawling or swimming—is, to anybody else (to me), extraordinary, beautiful, exotic, strange. Somewhere in the water, the fish lie listening, arranged like magic daggers in the dark.”
The story has a few amusing twists to add to the enjoyment, but to me the universal search for love is what drove me to journey along with Arthur Less.
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In my opinion, Less is Lost does not quite live up to Less in terms of stakes or attention grabbing scenes, but it still maintains its warmth and humor. We catch up with Arthur a couple years after the events of Less take place; we find his relationship with Freddie is strained and they have come into some money issues. I really loved having Freddie as our narrator and getting his interiority, I think it did help to raise the stakes a bit. This novel sees Arthur on a cross country road trip of the US in pursuit of earning enough money to pay off debts on his and Freddie's home, and the characters he meets along the way provide humor but not much conflict. Read it slowly, savor the prose, and take the time to appreciate every hilarious detail Greer has carefully included. One minute you’ll be laughing out loud and the next you’ll have a tear in your eye which, to me, is the best kind of book of all to read.
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Less Is Lost was even better than the first Less. 
Less needs money to purchase the home he's been living in for several years, based on the Will of his former lover. Which is to say that Less was not left the house outright but he can buy it.

So in order to raise the money Less embarks on a new book tour. However, things get delightedly confusing when Less thinks his estranged father has put up mpney for a play based on Less' book.  It's a case of Less 'hearing' and 'assuming' what he'd like to hear, not reality.

All this makes for a delightful book.

Thank you Netgalley and Little, Brown and Co.
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There were a range of emotions brought about by this book. Laughter and also deep and true thoughts on love and relationships.
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A mediocre Less

Hm. Always a gamble when you read book 2 after a great book 1. I recently read Less and liked it a lot. This follow-up just didn’t do the trick. Oh, it was okay, but a disappointment for sure.

The story, once again, is about Arthur Less, a gay 50-year-old author, doing writer gigs in lots of different places. In the first book, he was in Europe. Here, he’s traveling across the U.S. This time, the story is told from the point of view of his long-time partner, Freddie, who is waiting for Less to return home.

Joy Jar:

-This author can write! His prose is impeccable, his style so cool. I love the way he puts sentences together.

-Beautifully absurd scenes! Give me absurd and I’m a happy camper. The writer plops you down into some wild places and it’s impossible not to be intrigued. 

-Creative, funny metaphors.

-Greer is so adept at painting vivid pictures. I’m super impressed (like I was in the first book) that the author can come up with such imaginative people and settings, and describe them so well.

-Two hilarious scenes: one is a moose encounter; the other has to do with a strange noise on a plane.

Complaint Board:

-The boyfriend-at-home setup didn’t work for me. Didn’t get any feel for Less and boyfriend’s connection.

-Hm. Liked the Europe locales in the first book way more than the towns he went to in the U.S. in this book. Maybe it’s just that the places in the first book seemed more exotic?

-I don’t want just a picture, I want juice—action and words!

-Too clever for its own good. I felt like he was stretching it, trying to be so smart. It felt a little forced at times.

-Too many flashbacks. Sometimes you just want to stay in the here and now. But oh no, Less kept going back.

-Too many big words. I’m not studying for the SAT you know.

-Cut all the Homer and the mythology references. If you aren’t up on Greeks with long, unpronounceable names, you’ll probably feel as perturbed as I was. Too academic.

-Too many metaphors. Sure, they’re cool (the author really knows how to make entertaining comparisons), but enough already. They were fun in the first book but annoying here.

-Not funny enough. In the first book, yuks a-plenty; lots of good one-liners. Here, not so much. I can’t tell whether the author was less funny this time, or whether my being annoyed made me sit here all straight-faced. Probably a combination.

-Been there, done that. The novelty wore off. I really bought into all of Less’s travels in the first book, but it got old this time ‘round. I swear the travels were boring instead of exciting like in the first book.

-Slowed down halfway through, which made me want to be done with it already. I got bored.

-Felt zilch for Less. Again, completely opposite from how I felt with the first book.

-Characters were just caricatures. Joke-y, not real.

Bottom line:

I felt like this story just comes down to Less bumping into a bunch of oddballs while on his cross-country odyssey. They wore weird clothes and did weird things. Funny at first, but I wanted more than pictures, like I said. I wanted something to make the book come alive.

Maybe I just read the two Less books too close together; maybe I needed a breather. Whatever the case, this book lands in 3-star land. 

Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
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I was so excited for this book to come out because I LOVED the first Less so much! It did not disappoint!!
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This is an unusual book that I at first found difficult to follow, but it segued into a wonderfully quirky story of love, loss and how to accept and be happy with who you are. The characters are unique and flamboyant; they make you laugh out loud. The story of the hero, Arthur Less, is told by his current lover.  Less is anything if not philosophical and his musings on the people and places he encounters during his travels make you look at the world in a different way. In his interviews, the author relates that he tries to avoid stereotypes in describing places, instead relying on what he's actually observed. This makes Less's journey a very colorful one, especially since he is a type of Chevy Chase character (i.e. every mishap will befall him).  The writing is very clever and makes you laugh out loud.  Less ponders wonderful analogies, for example, comparing the situation of lovers trying to decide if they're going to break up to whether the individual 50 states ever have thoughts of breaking up with the America they wedded 246 years ago.  This was a delightful tale and one that I didn't want to stop reading.
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I enjoyed the first book more, though I think this book is "better".  Greer is more developed as an author and does a great job capturing the emotions that surround a person's life.
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I thought this sequel was actually better than the first book (for which he won the Pulitzer).  Quite funny.  Great, dimensional characters and scenes that are ridiculous, yet believable!  Both entertaining and thought provoking.
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Thanks to the publisher, Little, Brown and Company, for the free review copy.

I read Less last year and found it to be a uniquely beautiful and reflective novel about an aging gay writer traveling the world. As a native San Franciscan, I loved Greer's homage to Northern California which somehow came through even as the novel took its protagonist, Less, ever further from his home.

Less Is Lost is a worthy sequel, if a bit unfocused. This time, Less is on a trip across the American Southwest and South. Greer's descriptions of the American landscape are hauntingly beautiful and somehow capture the "core" of whatever he's describing. The journey across the US — and its eventual shocking and comical conclusion — was the best part of this book. However, I was a bit confused about what the main conflict or plot of the book was supposed to be. At varying times, it seems to be: a romantic conflict between Less and Freddy; a father-son conflict between Less and his father; a writerly crisis represented by Arthur Less and Arthur Less; a personal crisis related to Less' feelings for Freddy and his ex-partner Robert Brownburn; a metaphor for the state of America; and more. Additionally, some sections dragged and others went by far too fast, with big narrative jumps from scene to scene and state to state.

Still, it's not every day that you get a sequel to a Pulitzer Prize-winner. I'm interested to see how Less Is Lost will be perceived by critics and if it will be remembered by the general public.
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Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy!

The writing is beautiful and there is great humor in this. 3.5 stars.

I really loved the melancholy of the first book and wish that was a bit more played up in this.
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