Monday, June 14, 2010

Review: The Unnamed by Joshua Ferrris

The Unnamed

It's hard to imagine having an "unnamed" disease that makes you feel compelled to get up and walk without a destination or plans...just walk. This is what happens to Tim Farnsworth, a man who has a wife and daughter and a successful career as a partner in a law firm. Tim's mind appears to shut down and he doesn't even prepare for these spur of the moments impulses of extreme walking. He has travelled the globe to find answers but no medical professional can identify the cause of this malady. The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris takes you as a reader on a roller coaster of a ride as Tim tries to fight the force of this unnatural state that grips his life and the unpredictability it brings. We see the effects of this illness and how Tim manages this journey as well as how it affects his wife and daughter.

I listened to The Unnamed as an audio book which the author narrated. This story is definitely unique and a bit unpredictable but it's sad and depressing. I was hoping for some redeeming or uplifting moments in the story but they never surfaced. I have to say that evoking emotion is a skill and one that Joshua Ferris does well as an author. Although, for me, I found this book very depressing. Listening to the book may have made it more real and visceral as the author reads it with his own emphasis on certain parts of the story. I did enjoy listening to the author interview as he explained his thoughts about the characters and writing the book.

You can listen to an excerpt of The Unnamed, here.

You can read an excerpt of The Unnamed, here.

Disclosure: Thanks to Hachette for sending me a copy of this audio book for review. I am an Amazon and Indiebound associate.


  1. It certainly was a depressing book, but it sure stuck with me.

  2. At first I thought this would be one that I would enjoy, but your review added to several others who didn't quite enjoy it has confirmed that I don't need to run out and read this one immediately.

  3. I have this one yo read Bonnie, but I've been stalling. The reviews do seem pretty good though. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. I can do depressing if there are some moments of goodness or clarity or...something, but if it's just straight depressing, then I typically give up on it.

    I had such high hopes for this one but nearly everyone has said that it's depressing.

  5. I've been on the fence about this one. So many people seem to love it but I think I'd feel the same way you felt.

  6. I enjoyed the audio version of this book but can see why it left you sad.

  7. I've seen such good things, but depressing is not something I'm looking for right now!


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