Joshua Ferris' debut novel Then We Came to the End was both heralded by critics and a New York Times best seller, and marked the arrival of a startlingly talented young writer. With The Unnamed, Ferris imagines the collision between one man's free will and the forces of nature that are bigger than any of us.
Tim Farnsworth walks. He walks out of meetings and out of bed. He walks in sweltering heat and numbing cold. He will walk without stopping until he falls asleep, wherever he is. This curious affliction has baffled medical experts around the globe - and comes perilously close to ruining what should be a happy life. Tim has a loving family, a successful law career and a beautiful suburban home, all of which he maintains spectacularly well until his feet start moving again.
What drives a man to stay in a marriage, in a job? What forces him away? Is love or conscience enough to overcome the darker, stronger urges of the natural world? The Unnamed is a deeply felt, luminous novel about modern life, ancient yearnings, and the power of human understanding.
"Arresting, ground-shifting, beautiful and tragic. This is the book a new generation of writers will answer to. No one in America writes like this." (Gary Shteyngart)
"Ferris imbues his story with a sense of foreboding, both for the physical world, in the grip of record-breaking temperatures, and for the vulnerable nuclear family and its slow unraveling. With its devastating metaphoric take on the yearning for connection and the struggles of commitment, Ferris brilliantly channels the suburban angst of Yates and Cheever for the new millennium." (Booklist, Starred Review)
"An unnerving portrait of a man stripped of civilization's defenses. Ferris's prose is brash, extravagant, and, near the end, chillingly beautiful." (The New Yorker)
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Sad, tender, brilliantly clever
- Judith Seaboyer
Lyrical and Thoughtful
- H. R.