Less by Andrew Sean Greer is a charming story about love, aging and the publishing world. The following book club questions will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the novel yet, check out my preview and review first.
Instead of simply declining his ex’s wedding invitation, Arthur Less instead goes on an around-the-world-in-eighty-days adventure that will take Less to Mexico, Italy, Germany, Morocco, India and Japan. But through the different countries, we lean more about Less and why he might be a romantic after all.
Let’s get into the book club questions.
- The story is told from a third-person ‘unknown’ narrator. What did you think of this story choice? Were you surprised it was Freddy or did you realize it early on?
- What did you think about the character of Less? Did it change as the book went on?
- Let’s discuss Less’ choice to bypass the wedding invite by going on this huge trip. Did you agree with it? If you were in Less’ situation,would you have done it too? Why or why not?
- Why did he have to leave the country instead of just declining?
- While he tried to leave his problems behind, you can’t outrun them. In what ways did the trip give Less clarity on his past relationships, aging and the publishing community?
- Which trip/country did you enjoy reading about the most in this novel? What about the least?
- Let’s talk about the differences between Less’ relationships with Robert and Freddy.
- Less is an awkward guy full of mishaps from believing he’s fluent in German when he’s not to having the wrong first impressions of so many people. Did you relate to any of Less’ awkward interactions?
- For much of the novel, Less is struggling to adapt to the reality that he’s turning 50. He knows he’s aging in so many ways both with looks and long-lasting hangovers but he still feels young at the same time. Let’s talk about how we perceive the aging process. What does aging mean to you?
- Were you surprised that Freddy came back to Less? Why or why not? Why do you think he did? Is their relationship destined to last or fail?
- There’s many lines that stick out in this read. For instance – just for the record: happiness is not bullshit. What does that mean within the context of this story? And what does it mean to you personally?
Next on my TBR (to be read) list
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