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If you’re a fan of literary fiction and audiobooks, chances are you’ve heard of Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Less.” In this audiobook review, we’ll explore the highlights, narration quality, and overall experience offered by this acclaimed adaptation, including its impact on contemporary literature and the author’s legacy. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the book or considering it for the first time, this comprehensive review will provide valuable insights and recommendations for your listening pleasure.

Introduction to “Less” and Andrew Sean Greer

Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Less” is a heartwarming and humorous tale about Arthur Less, a struggling novelist who embarks on a journey around the world to avoid attending his ex-lover’s wedding. The book was published in 2017 and quickly became a literary sensation, earning critical acclaim and widespread popularity.

Andrew Sean Greer is an American author who has written several other books, including “The Confessions of Max Tivoli” and “The Story of a Marriage.” He was born in Washington, D.C., in 1970 and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Montana. Greer’s writing style is characterized by wit, humor, and an acute sensitivity to the human experience.

With “Less,” Greer has crafted a poignant and entertaining story that explores themes of love, aging, and self-discovery. The novel’s vivid characters, clever prose, and touching moments have captivated readers around the world. In the following sections, we will provide an in-depth analysis of the “Less” audiobook version, exploring its narration style, plot, characters, themes, and overall production quality.

Overview of the Audiobook Version

If you’re considering the audiobook version of “Less,” here’s what you need to know. The audiobook is narrated by Robert Petkoff, who brings the characters to life with his engaging performance. The runtime of the audiobook is approximately 8 hours and 17 minutes, making it a great option for longer commutes or a weekend listen.

The audiobook is widely available across various platforms, including Audible, Apple Books, Google Play Books, and more. Its accessibility and compatibility with different devices make it a convenient choice for audiobook aficionados.

What sets the audiobook version of “Less” apart is the nuances of Petkoff’s narration that elevate the listening experience. The emotion he brings to the dialogue and description makes the story more immersive and compelling. So, if you’re a fan of audiobooks or looking for a new listening experience, the audiobook version of “Less” is worth giving a try.

Plot Summary and Main Characters

“Less” is a comedic novel by Andrew Sean Greer that tells the story of middle-aged novelist Arthur Less. Faced with a failed love affair and writer’s block, Less embarks on a worldwide tour to escape his problems. The novel takes readers on a journey through various cities where Less encounters memorable characters and reflects on his life thus far.

The main characters in “Less” include:

  • Arthur Less: The protagonist and a middle-aged novelist who embarks on a worldwide tour to avoid attending his ex-boyfriend’s wedding and coming to terms with his own failed love affair.
  • Freddy: Less’s younger ex-boyfriend, who is marrying a younger man named Carlos. Freddy’s relationship with Less ended abruptly and did not end well, leaving Less feeling bitter.
  • Robert Brownburn: A Pulitzer Prize-winning author who was Less’s former lover and remains a close friend.
  • Carlos: Freddy’s fiance who is a lovely, kind person, and with whom Less finds himself becoming close despite having negative feelings towards the wedding.
  • The German: A charismatic German poet who appears at various points throughout the novel and has an impact on Less’s journey.

The novel expertly weaves together the stories of these diverse characters to create a poignant and humorous account of one man’s journey of self-discovery. The central themes of love, aging, and self-reflection are explored with depth and nuance, making “Less” a must-read for fans of literary fiction.

Writing Style and Narrative Techniques

In “Less,” Andrew Sean Greer masterfully employs a distinct writing style and narrative techniques that create a unique reading experience. His prose is elegant yet accessible, conveying complex emotions and themes with ease. Through Greer’s use of vivid imagery and attention to detail, readers are transported to the vivid landscapes and locales that Less travels to on his journey of self-discovery.

One notable narrative technique that Greer employs is the use of flashbacks to showcase Less’s past relationships and the events that have shaped his life. These flashbacks are seamlessly woven into the narrative, providing depth and insight into Less’s character and motivations.

Greer also employs a nonlinear narrative structure, with Less’s journey serving as a framing device for the various flashbacks and memories that comprise the novel. This structure enhances the impact of the story while also keeping readers engaged and invested in Less’s journey.

Overall, Andrew Sean Greer’s writing style and narrative techniques in “Less” leave a lasting impression on readers, cementing the novel’s place as a literary masterpiece.

Themes Explored in “Less”

Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less” delves into various themes, each portraying a unique message that resonates with the reader. These themes, which encompass love, identity, aging, and self-discovery, are explored vividly throughout the novel, making it an unforgettable read.

The theme of love is highlighted through the central character, Arthur Less, who embarks on a journey to find himself while reflecting on his previous romantic endeavors. Greer explores the significant impact of rejection, heartbreak, and nostalgia on individuals, portraying love as a complex and multifaceted emotion.

Identity is another significant theme in “Less,” as the protagonist grapples with defining himself and his role in society as a middle-aged gay man. Greer presents the complexity of the human identity, highlighting the struggles that one faces when fitting into societal norms.

Aging and self-discovery are also among the key themes explored in the book; the story unfolds as Less navigates his mid-life crisis, encountering new experiences and discovering hidden parts of himself. Greer portrays the journey of self-discovery in a way that resonates with readers regardless of their age or gender.

“Andrew Sean Greer’s writing style is a perfect match for the complex and relatable themes portrayed in “Less.” The book is a masterpiece of fiction, and its exploration of love, identity, aging, and self-discovery makes it a must-read for anyone craving deep introspection.”

Narration and Performance

One of the key aspects of any audiobook is its narration and performance. In the case of “Less,” the audiobook version is narrated by Robert Petkoff, a seasoned voice actor who has lent his voice to several other audiobooks. Petkoff delivers a nuanced and engaging performance that captures the essence of the characters and their emotions. He does an excellent job of bringing Andrew Sean Greer’s prose to life, using his voice to convey the humor, wit, and pathos that permeate the novel.

Throughout the audiobook, Petkoff maintains a consistent pace and tone, ensuring that listeners stay engaged from start to finish. His vocal inflections and characterizations are spot-on, creating a vivid and immersive listening experience that draws the audience into the story. Overall, Petkoff’s narration is a major highlight of the “Less” audiobook and one of the key reasons why it is such a compelling adaptation of Greer’s novel.

Audiobook Production Quality

When it comes to producing an audiobook, it is crucial to deliver high-quality sound design, smooth editing, and an exceptional listening experience. In the case of the “Less” audiobook, we were impressed by its production quality.

The sound design was excellent, with clear and crisp audio that resulted in an immersive listening experience. The editing was also top-notch, with no apparent errors or awkward pauses that could disrupt the flow of the narration. The background score was tastefully added, further enhancing the overall listening experience.

The audiobook runtime was 8 hours and 17 minutes. It is available across various platforms, making it an accessible and convenient choice for listeners.

All in all, the “Less” audiobook production quality meets the standards of excellence, offering a truly impactful and engaging experience for listeners.

Comparison with the Print Version

When comparing the print version of “Less” to its audiobook counterpart, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, the print version offers a tactile and visual experience that cannot be replicated in audio. Readers have the opportunity to physically turn the pages, highlight passages, and even smell the ink and paper.

On the other hand, the audiobook version brings the story to life through expert narration and sound design. Listeners can engage with the story hands-free, immersing themselves in the world of Arthur Less without any distractions. Moreover, the audiobook conveys the author’s intended tone and pacing, which may be missed in the print version.

“I read ‘Less’ as an actual, physical book long before I ever experienced it as an audiobook. While I appreciate the physical experience of reading, I found that revisiting the story through the audiobook brought an entirely new level of emotional depth and connection to the characters.” – Sarah W.

Ultimately, the choice between the two formats depends on personal preference and the type of experience you wish to have with the story. Those who enjoy a more immersive, hands-free experience may prefer the audiobook, while traditionalists may opt for the print version.

Print Version

Pros Cons
Physical, tactile experience May be less engaging for some readers
Allows for visual highlighting and note-taking Requires good lighting and comfortable reading conditions
May offer a more immersive reading experience for some Not accessible to those with visual impairments

Audiobook Version

Pros Cons
Expert narration and sound design Listeners may miss visual details present in print version
Hands-free experience allows for multitasking Requires a compatible device for listening
Offers a unique emotional connection to the story May be less engaging for some listeners

Audience Reception and Acclaim

Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less” has not only received critical acclaim but has also resonated with various audiences worldwide. Listeners and critics alike have praised the author’s storytelling ability and the narrator’s nuanced performance. Furthermore, the “Less” audiobook has received recognition in major literary awards and has topped best-seller lists.

Audience Reception

The audiobook version of “Less” has received overwhelming positive responses from audiences globally. Listeners have lauded the narrator’s ability to capture the essence of the characters and convey the emotions of the story. The story’s themes of human connection, aging, and identity have resonated with different audiences, regardless of their age and background, making it a universally acclaimed work of fiction.

“Andrew Sean Greer has crafted not only a beautiful and engaging story but has given us a reflection on life, identity, and the pursuit of happiness”

Reviews on Amazon show that the audiobook has a 4.3/5 rating, with users highly recommending it. One reviewer said, “This audiobook is beautifully written, and Michael Urie’s nuanced performance breathed life into the characters. I was hooked from start to finish.”


The “Less” audiobook has received considerable acclaim since its release. It won the 2018 Audie Awards for Best Male Narrator, Best Fiction Audiobook, and Audiobook of the Year. The audiobook also won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2018. The book has also been included in several “best of” lists, including the New York Times Bestseller List and the Washington Post’s Best Books of 2017.

Award Year Category
Audie Awards 2018 Best Fiction Audiobook
Audie Awards 2018 Best Male Narrator
Audie Awards 2018 Audiobook of the Year
Pulitzer Prize 2018 Fiction

Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less” has deservedly won multiple awards and recognition from various literary institutions. The audiobook’s storyline, character arcs and themes have garnered widespread acclaim from fans and critics, earning its place as one of the essential works of fiction in recent years.

Impact of “Less” and Andrew Sean Greer’s Legacy

Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less” has made a profound impact on contemporary literature, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2018. The novel’s unique narrative style and exploration of themes such as identity, love, and self-discovery have resonated with audiences across the world.

“Less” has cemented Andrew Sean Greer’s legacy as a notable author, with his name now often included in discussions of contemporary literary giants. The novel’s success has led to a surge in interest in Greer’s other works, such as “The Story of a Marriage” and “The Confessions of Max Tivoli”.

The book has also prompted important discussions about the representation of LGBTQ+ characters in literature, with Greer’s protagonist Arthur Less being a gay man. The novel’s impact on the literary landscape has been undeniable, paving the way for greater diversity and inclusion in contemporary writing.

“Less is, quite simply, one of the most beautiful novels, written by anyone, ever.” – The Irish Times

Andrew Sean Greer’s Legacy in Contemporary Literature

Books Awards and Recognitions
The Path of Minor Planets California Book Award
The Confessions of Max Tivoli California Book Award, NEA Fellowship
The Story of a Marriage Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Less Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

As seen in the table above, Andrew Sean Greer has received several awards and recognitions for his work, including multiple California Book Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for “Less.” His body of work speaks to his versatility as a writer, and “Less” serves as a shining example of his ability to craft complex characters and narratives that resonate with readers. With his continued contributions to contemporary literature, Greer’s legacy is sure to endure.

Personal Reflection and Recommendation

Having thoroughly explored the “Less” audiobook, I can confidently recommend it to anyone looking for a moving and thought-provoking listening experience. Andrew Sean Greer’s masterful storytelling and the exceptional narration of the audiobook truly make for an unforgettable experience.

For those who appreciate character-driven narratives and exploration of complex themes like identity and self-discovery, “Less” is bound to be a satisfying choice. The audiobook version brings these characters to life with authenticity and depth, thanks to the narrator’s impeccable performance.

“Beautiful and humorous, “Less” is a rare gem of a novel and one of the best audiobooks I have ever encountered. Highly recommended!”

If you’re in search of a heartwarming and poignant story, “Less” is the perfect choice. Don’t miss out on this exceptional novel that showcases the talent of Andrew Sean Greer and the artistry of the audiobook format.

Additional Works by Andrew Sean Greer

Aside from “Less,” Andrew Sean Greer has written several other acclaimed works, showcasing his wit and literary prowess. Here are some of his other notable novels:

Novel Title Publication Year
The Story of a Marriage 2008
The Confessions of Max Tivoli 2004
The Path of Minor Planets 2001
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells 2013

Each of these works offers a unique perspective on life and relationships, all written in Andrew Sean Greer’s inimitable style. Fans of “Less” are sure to find much to appreciate in these other novels.

Additional Works by Andrew Sean Greer


Overall, the audiobook version of “Less” by Andrew Sean Greer proves to be a captivating and enjoyable listening experience. The skilled narration and production quality elevate the already powerful story, making it a must-listen for fans of contemporary literature.

Greer’s writing style and narrative techniques are on full display in both the print and audiobook versions, but the audiobook enhances the emotional impact of the story, thanks in large part to the excellent narration by Robert Petkoff.

The audiobook offers a unique listening experience that may be preferred by those who want to fully immerse themselves in the story, but the print version also has its advantages, particularly for readers who want to take their time with the prose and savor every word.

Overall, “Less” is a novel that has rightfully earned its critical acclaim, and the audiobook version does not disappoint. Whether you’re a fan of literary fiction or just looking for a powerful and moving story, this audiobook is a highly recommended pick.

Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less” is just one of many exceptional works in his impressive bibliography. Fans of the novel should definitely check out other works by Greer, such as “The Story of a Marriage” and “The Confessions of Max Tivoli.”

Ultimately, “Less” is a timeless novel that offers a poignant exploration of love, identity, and self-discovery. It is a novel that will surely stand the test of time and continue to impact readers and listeners for generations to come.

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