Cover Image: Less Is Lost

Less Is Lost

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Member Reviews

I was so excited to see this book because I absolutely loved Less! This story is a perfect story of finding yourself; it’s filled with so much goodness and made me feel great reading it. This book is wonderful and when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Arthur Less has some issues pop up in life and despite the pain, he goes on a road trip to find himself and it’s such a fun, silly, heart-warming story. Loved it! Great follow up to Less!
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This is a quintessential "find yourself" story and I enjoyed the narrator shifts. I also enjoyed the literary nods and asides. I wish I cared as much about the main character in this novel as I cared about Freddy. The people were well-drawn and explored; I found it hard to sympathize with them however.
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I went into this a little uncertain about a sequel because the ending of the first book is just so perfect. But this is equally wonderful! The humor and genuine emotion are all on full display here, and anyone who enjoyed the first book will likely find more to love here. It's hard to say who I would recommend this to since it does hinge on reading the first one, but I really enjoyed the focus on grief here in particular and was glad to get to spend more time with these characters. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
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Perfect follow up to his first novel! Love Andrew Sean Greer's books and cannot recommend this one enough!!
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I loved Less and was so looking forward to the continuation of Arthur Less’s story. To see how things turned out for Arthur and Freddy and most importantly what they each learned from their adventure. Unfortunately, the answer seems to be… their relationship has gone nowhere and they have learned nothing. Less is Lost reads like an anemic rehash of the first book where Less is once again on another road trip to make money and he and Freddy are once again questioning their commitment to one another. It is never clear, however, what the problem is in their relationship that they are trying to work out. They seem to be in love (or at least that’s what they say) but what makes them so “uncertain” about each other… other than the necessity of the plot? Yes, Less spends the book ruminating on his “daddy issues” but is that what is ruining their relationship? Part of the problem is that we never get to see Less and Freddy happy. We never see their relationship when it’s working, so we have nothing to compare to when it’s not working. And similarly, it’s hard to get the sense of what brings them the clarity in the end that they do, in fact, belong together. Another part of the problem is that structurally this book feels as aimless and lost as Less is himself. Perhaps that was intentional but the experience of reading this book is like constantly trying to squint to get the sense of what you’re seeing because otherwise everything is blurry and unfocused. Finally, and this is a small thing, it was kind of irksome that the mcguffin set up in the first act (Less needs money to pay the rent lest they get evicted) goes completely unresolved at the end. Are we meant to think that all they need is each other and that their financial and residency problems are of lesser concern? If so, then why have we been rooting for Arthur this whole time to pay the rent so they can keep their home? All in all, it was fun spending time with these characters again but I wished there was more forward momentum in their story.
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I loved these characters in Greer's Less, I truly did. But I think Less's adventure in Less Is Lost takes shine away from the character. While moments here and there were laugh-out-loud funny, it wasn't enough to overcome the bland plot and the consistent question of But why? I did not enjoy this, and I was really hoping to.
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Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers at Hachette for allowing me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

When I saw Arthur Less was coming back, I was giddy. Surely this was what the narrator of Greer's 2017 Pulitzer Prize-novel felt as he saw the title character approaching him up the walk at the end of the novel. However, when I was allowed a copy, the anxiety set in. 

I count myself among the many readers for whom Arthur Less is a much-beloved character. If Arthur Less were part of Gen Z rather than a 50-something Gen X-er, Book Tok-ers would be calling him a cinnamon roll,  adopting him as their child,  and proclaiming a willingness to die for him. 

But Less is more than Less. Greer won the Pulitzer for the way his deft prose captured ... well, I could go on about this Everyman, who feels the pain of being less in a beautiful, wonderful and brutal world. But reading Greer's book was more a visceral experience. He makes you feel what he's trying to say and trying to describe Greer's book in words not Greer's diminishes the work.  You just have to roll around in it like a dog experiencing the ecstasy of trying to work an amazing smell into his very being. 

I expected to binge this book in one sitting the day I got it, but I kept putting it off and putting it off because... what if this time Less was ... less? What if Greer lost something in Less is Lost and ended up ruining the first book? What if he just ended up rewriting the first book? These are always the dangers with sequels. The premise this time is that instead of fleeing around the world to escape the pain of an ex's wedding, Less ends up in an RV across America,  chasing an understanding of his (and this country's) past and how to manage the damage left behind in order to figure out how to move forward.  

Here's what I can tell you after finishing Less is Lost. Trust Andrew Sean Greer. Grab the book when you can, devour it, and give him another damn Pulitzer already.
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I had mixed feelings going into this book, a sequel to 2017’s Less, which I ADORED. On the one hand, I was excited to be back in the world of the bumbling but lovable Arthur Less. On the other hand, the ending of the first book made me so happy, and I didn’t know how I felt about anything that would disrupt the wonderful status quo I’d left behind. 

I think that kind of translates to the way I felt throughout the book as a whole. The writing is still phenomenal, funny and touching and somehow delightfully embarrassing, but the story lost a little bit of its sparkle. It didn’t totally repeat the arc of the first book, but there were echoes of it, and then it also added more layers on top of it, which sometimes made it feel pulled in a few too many directions. I think I was also slightly less excited about the travels through the US than around the world, which may just be my own biases. 

I still enjoyed it. I would definitely read more of Andrew Sean Greer’s books, but would probably rather read a new story altogether than another Less book next.
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Arthur Less is back!  And readers who loved his debut appearance will not be disappointed: tho his travels are not world-wide this time, they are every bit as funny and enthralling as they were in the first book. Andrew Sean Greer's gifts are amply on display in a wonderful and wondrous novel which will have you laughing and weeping--sometimes simultaneously.  A true gift to the reader, LESS IS LOST is a novel to cherish. 

Many thanks to Little Brown and to Netgalley for the pleasure of an early read.
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I truly adored A.S. Greer's prior release, "Less", so very much - the protagonist, Arthur Less, is so inept and neurotic but lovable - and his globe-trotting travels in search of both himself & love.  I was very happy & delighted to read the follow-up, "Less is Lost" and catch up with our ersatz protagonist.  In the new novel, dear sweet Arthur is on yet another road trip, only this time across the United States in search of both his father & the fame he feels has eluded him.  Of course there are many very funny mishaps along the way, with quite a cast of secondary characters.  Recommend to all that loved the first book, you will not be disappointed in the sequel.  My sincere thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the complimentary DRC, the exchange of which did not affect my review.
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As much as I loved, and I do mean LOVED "Less," I admit that I was skeptical.  I wondered if Greer could pull off another full length novel about Arthur Less without it being redundant, or dare I say boring.  However, fans of Arthur Less, have no fear, this author has you covered, and you will happily accompany Less on another set of wild, yet charming travels.  Everything I loved about the first book was also present in the second.  Arthur Less is one of the more memorable characters I have read about in a long time.  Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book early.
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Thank you, Little Brown and Company, for allowing me to read Less is Lost early. 

A great sequel to its predecessor. I loved Arthur’s road trip through the US and laughed and cried and even screamed at times. It was heartbreaking and beautiful in so many ways! An excellent addition to the first story!
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In "Less," Andrew Sean Greer took us on a blundering trip around the world. In "Less Is Lost," he attempts to recapture the magic, sending his hapless but lovable protagonist Arthur Less on a road trip across the United States, from the "Mild Mild West" to the Eastern Seaboard. A lengthy detour through the South provides some of the novel's more hilarious--and poignant--moments, as the well-dressed (and gay) Less stands out like a Baptist in a Lutheran church.

"Less Is Lost" hews close to the old adage: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The detached third-person narration was one of the many treats in the first book; here, it works just as well, if not better, as the narrator's identity is known from page one. The plot zigs when you expect it to zag; the humor is consistently laugh-out-loud. However, the set-up for Less's journey is more tortured this time around, and at times the trip feels random just for randomness's sake (always an issue with road trip stories, especially comedies). 

Fear not, dear Reader--Greer lands the plane smoothly, leaving you gasping for breath and wondering what you were ever so worried about. Of course Greer was going to tie everything up in one beautiful bow! Of course he will break your heart just to mend it. Fans of the first book and new readers alike will delight at the mishaps that befall Greer's hero on his cross-country adventure. "Less Is Lost" stands on its own, too, so if you haven't gotten lost with Less, hop onboard.  

-- Andrew Shaffer, NYTimes bestselling author of "Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery"
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