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When you unfriend someone, they do not get notified – however they may notice your absence from their newsfeed and their friend list.
Yes, you can ask Facebook to show you less of what that friend posts. Here’s how:
Go to that friend’s profile page (timeline) by clicking on their name or picture
Click on the button that reads ‘friends’ in the upper right
This is the same place you go to Unfriend … Unfriend is at the bottom of the list of choice, but one other choice is ‘Settings…’
click on Settings and you should see options under ‘How Many Updates?’ and ‘What kind of Updates’
If you select ‘Only Important Updates’ and Uncheck Games, Comments, Books and Videos, etc. then you will see a lot less from this friend on your newsfeed.