... a touching, hilarious narrative that works both as a follow-up to Greer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Less and as an introduction to an unforgettable character for those who haven’t read about Arthur Less before. Poignant, smart and funny, the mix of elements Greer brings to the table here makes this an outstanding book that’s part road trip, part love story and part keen observation of contemporary America ... While the story is told by Less’ partner Freddy — a literary tactic that works surprisingly well and serves to pull readers into the story time and time again as Freddy addresses the reader directly — Arthur Less is the heart and soul of this novel ... Greer is a very talented storyteller, and there are shining lines in Less is Lost that dip their toes in poetry ... perfectly balanced; sad and joyful, honest and hilarious, wonderfully strange and very real. Greer is a great chronicler of our times, and his vision of America celebrates the best of it while also showing its dark side, and that makes this novel required reading.
... technically accomplished, wildly entertaining ... Like its predecessor, the new novel is a feat of wit and brio, tougher than it looks ... From his New England perch, Freddy narrates hilarious, cinematic scenes that include affectionate if campy portraits of Arthur ... Greer's a master of the picaresque, deftly moving his protagonist from a seedy, David Lynch-esque desert bar through the flatlands of Texas to a Southern theater troupe ... Greer's wordplay is glorious: He drop-shots puns and ripostes, firing up his prose ... Greer is not only winking at the reader, he's winking at himself. Although an agile stylist, he's captivated by the cadences of his own voice, the web of Less' relationships, and an unpersuasive reckoning ... The author's gifts are manifold, though, and Less Is Lost finds its path, holding tight to a Kerouac-like exuberance even as Less falls short of the enlightenment he seeks. And despite the novel's self-conscious moments, Greer bears down on his character's quest with a command of craft second to none. Will love conquer all? As Freddy notes, 'Well, reader, I will simply let you guess.'
Andrew Sean Greer’s new novel performs an astonishing magic trick: It makes you forget the state of the world—or, more specifically, America ... Writers may take special pleasure in Less Is Lost for the way it holds a mirror to the unique humiliations of their vocation ... With the wit and warmth that made readers fall in love with Less, Greer can find the absurd in everything ... What made Less such a deep joy to read was the voice—a playful almost-omniscience that occasionally shifted to reveal a mysterious first-person who looked upon Less with unmistakable fondness. That narrative voice resumes seamlessly in Less Is Lost ... Less Is Lost is a love story, but it’s also about how we make art—which is to say, how we make meaning.