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The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris

The Unnamed (edition 2010)

by Joshua Ferris

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961809,010 (3.5)45
Title:The Unnamed
Authors:Joshua Ferris
Info:Reagan Arthur / Back Bay Books (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris

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  1. 10
    Mad Travelers: Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illnesses by Ian Hacking (albanyhill)
    albanyhill: Mad Travelers is nonfiction about dissociative fugue in the 1890s, which had as a symptom compulsive bouts of walking.

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Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
A man cannot stop walking. The simplest of plots, but if you know me, you know why I was drawn to this book. The first two-thirds of this read is a bit meandering (har har), but takes off for the final 100 pages and becomes truly masterful. The ending is devastating, heartbreaking and perfect.
  MartinBodek | Jun 11, 2015 |
So the book's protagonist ambles around aimlessly, involuntarily, endlessly, and perhaps it is a metaphor of sorts that the book does exactly the same thing. The story bobs and weaves to avoid meaning. At the end of the day the moral of the story appears to be that nothing matters, that our biology is our destiny, and that we all die alone. It is about as cynical a book as I have ever read, but there is no fire to the cynicism. The whole enterprise seems steeped in exhausted capitulation. This is neither my first nor my last Ferris book. He is a beautiful writer. That said, IMHO this was a pointless read, depressing not because of its depth or honesty, but because the writer just gave up. ( )
  Narshkite | Nov 27, 2014 |
I was amazed with how deeply I (we) got immeshed into Tim's WALKS!!! Such incredible detail and with such exhaustion---no, you don't really understand what he is going through but you almost feel it with Ferris's descriptions. Jane was absorbed by his walks, at least to some extent as much as he was---the walks took over all of their lives and to what end? Exactly....to what end? Fascinating to read but also almost too exhausting. ( )
  nyiper | Aug 26, 2014 |
I found this a truly original take on the pressures of modern life and how close many of us are to the edge.

The book is about a man who has spells when he can't stop himself from walking, his body takes over and he just keeps going, whatever the consequences for his health, his family, his work. This allows the author to strip away everything superfluous and focus on the heart of what it is to be human - love and survival.

The writing is matter-of-fact and unembellished which makes the story feel even stronger. ( )
  lizchris | Jun 24, 2014 |
Tim has to walk. Why or where to he does not know, despite his efforts to find out. Existientialism. ( )
  ohernaes | Dec 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
Joshua Ferris’ 2007 debut Then We Came To The End fearlessly wielded the first-person plural to chronicle the fall of a Chicago advertising agency through its employees’ eyes. There is no “we” in The Unnamed, his superbly depressing follow-up about a marital crisis with no exit, but the descent is more personal, frightening, and ultimately meaningful.
added by Shortride | editA. V. Club, Ellen Wernecke (Jan 21, 2010)
Though his idea might have worked equally well as a short story, Ferris paces his scenes and writes dialogue that sustains the tension, walking a line between realism and something more estranged, catching the invisible shifting energy in the room when words get spoken.
added by Shortride | editBookforum, Sarah Kerr (Dec 1, 2009)
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For Chuck Ferris and Patty Haley
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It was the cruelest winter.
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Tim Farnsworth is a handsome, healthy man, aging with the grace of a matinee idol. His wife Jane still loves him, and for all its quiet trials, their marriage is still stronger than most. Then one day he stands up and walks out. And keeps walking.

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