|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