Arthur Less, a self-proclaimed mid-level author, is approaching a big birthday and has just been invited to the nuptials of his ex. In an effort to avoid the event and ignore his unresolved sadness about the dissolution of that relationship, Less cobbles together an international itinerary of literary events, which force Less into endlessly absurd, endlessly hilarious situations across the continents. This book’s hero is unexpected, and endearing and amazingly funny. Less by Andrew Sean Greer won this year’s Pulitzer—the first darkly comedic novel to win, maybe ever. Try not to root for Arthur Less, and try harder to finish this book without feeling dazzled by the crisp and beautiful writing, and the story’s perfect ending.
(And if you love Less, you must read The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman, one of the most wonderfully quirky, sharp and perfect books about a group of reporters, editors and executives who work for a English-Language newspaper in Rome. Not to be missed.)