by Andrew Sean Greer
published by Little, Brown, and Company
audiobook published by Hachette Audio
narrated by Robert Petkoff
This novel won the Pulitzer Prize!
Arthur Less is a 49-year old man living in San Francisco, trying to get his new novel published, dreading age 50, and trying to accept that his young partner moved out and moved on. When an invitation arrives to that young ex-partner’s forthcoming wedding (!!), he decides to flee rather than face it.
Piles of previously ignored invitations to be a guest lecturer, a conference speaker, a writer’s retreat participant, and more suddenly find their purpose – helping him avoid humiliation!
His escape out of SF and around the world does more than just help him avoid his feelings about ‘the one that got away:’ it nearly gets him killed, sparks new feelings, introduces new friends, offers insights about his life that he’d rather not have, has him offering to kill students trying to sign up for his classes, and gets him to his 50th birthday in a series of both sweet and absurd misadventures.
The excellent reading by Petkoff had me laughing out loud. Especially the portions translated from German, which Less believes he speaks fluently, to hilarious effect. Also: the general observation from a character that perhaps books about middle-aged white guys feeling sorry for themselves aren’t appealing. HAHAHAHA!
This is a fun, charming, novel about trying with all ones might NOT to see one’s life imitating art.