Saturday, October 15, 2022

Reading Less

A snapshot from my Kindle.

I reviewed the first of these two novels by Andrew Sean Greer when it was new, in 2018 (here). I wrote: "I think that this novel is so funny because, obviously, the humor is self-deprecating, the novelist is making fun of himself and how he's too darn serious about living, aging, having aging friends, wanting to be famous..."

Well, before I read Less is Lost, the new sequel, I reread the first volume -- and I'm afraid I didn't find it as funny or enjoyable the second time. And the sequel was ok, but not fabulous. I don't know what's wrong with me, I know it was funny but it seemed like he tried to hard. It was just  TOO MUCH; should have been LESS. And it's now the books are being presented as if there is to be a whole series of sequels -- the publisher refers to "The Arthur Less Books." I think I'm going to stop at two.

The central character Arthur Less is still a bit hapless, worried about his identity, and so on, even when he flies:
"Peanuts! At thirty thousand feet! To Arthur Less, anything at high altitude feels miraculous; he simply cannot believe it’s happening. Perhaps it correlates in his system with quasi-forbidden boyhood delights such as flashlight-reading under the covers and smuggling chocolate into a treehouse. An offer of wine and Less shivers at the impossibility. How did they get wine up here? To him, it is as delicious as a cup of lemonade bought from a five-year-old’s stand, which is to say, always delicious. The same goes for the food; when he unwraps the foil to expose microwaved chicken or curdled lasagna, you would think he had found a golden ticket to a chocolate factory. His joy seems endless." (p. 51). 

The flying scene in the first book was funnier! A lot of ideas are better the first time.

Well, that's all I have to say. I should keep to my usual habit of never rereading most books.

Review © 2022 mae sander


eileeninmd said...


I love reading, I do tend to stick to the mysteries and detective stories.
Thanks for your review, these books may not be my cup of tea.
Have a great weekend.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

"It was just TOO MUCH; should have been LESS."

That's too bad.

My name is Erika. said...

I don't know these books. But I guess, like many movies, the sequel could have been skipped? Have a great weekend Mae. hugs-Erika

Harvee said...

Ihave these on my ereader and hope to get to them eventually. Have fun.

Linda said...

I heard something on the radio about this book. I rarely “read“ fiction but I listen to it on audio format. I do read non-fiction books because they don’t work well as audio.

Jeanie said...

I think we evolve and what seemed so right at one time seems less so later. It's an interesting observation.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I know playing catch up is impossible, after the trial took up so much of October, but I have to agree that some books are better the first time around. Others I find far more delightful after the second reading. I think it has to do with my mood at the time. Never heard of Less and guess I don't care to, either. Thanks for the synopsis.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

I wonder if the Pandemic has had an impact on what we find amusing now?

Terrie said...

I have Less on my TBR but for some reason it keeps being overlooked - I think I added it because it was all over the internet when it was new and I felt like I 'should' read it. Maybe it's time to let it go - I rarely find books as hilarious as they're hyped to be.
Thanks for the visit.
Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

Trin Carl said...

I think I reading test evolve in my early 20s I used to read a lot of literary fiction but as I get older I noticed that I read a lot of contemporary romance pieces and I am afraid to admit easier literature because some of the literary books can get in my head a lot and take a lot of time to wrap my mind on and I do not have a lot of time at my disposal at the global

Helen's Book Blog said...

I read Less quite a while ago and liked it, but didn't love it so it's interesting that you didn't think it was as funny the second time around.

And, it's so interesting that you live in Ann Arbor where I was born, and you have also lived in Santa Barbara where I live now. Small world!

thecuecard said...

I read Book 2 ... and I agree that he's trying a bit hard. These novels weren't really for me ...though some of the humor made them worth seeing through. I guess I'll keep a small soft spot for hapless Arthur Less, though I'll stop at # 2.