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Publisher's Summary

The Unnamed is a dazzling novel about a marriage, family, and the unseen forces of nature and desire that seem to threaten them both.

He was going to lose the house and everything in it.

The rare pleasure of a bath, the copper pots hanging above the kitchen island, his family-again he would lose his family. He stood inside the house and took stock. Everything in it had been taken for granted. How had that happened again? He had promised himself not to take anything for granted and now he couldn't recall the moment that promise had given way to the everyday.

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. Despite long hours at the office, he remains passionate about his work, and his partnership at a prestigious Manhattan law firm means that the work he does is important. And, even as his daughter Becka retreats behind her guitar, her dreadlocks, and her puppy fat, he offers her every one of a father's honest lies about her being the most beautiful girl in the world.

He loves his wife, his family, his work, his home. He loves his kitchen. And then one day he stands up and walks out. And keeps walking.

The Unnamed is a heartbreaking story of a life taken for granted - and what happens when that life is abruptly and irrevocably taken away.

©2010 Joshua Ferris (P)2010 Hachette

What listeners say about The Unnamed

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    31
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Story
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Sad, tender, brilliantly clever

Exemplary contemporary American fiction, the best book I've read in a long time. Heartbreakingly sad. Brilliant characterisation. I was fascinated by the idea of walking across America. Kept recalling something for me I couldn't quite catch. Kept being reminded of Walt Whitman, and the contemporary description of madness + homelessness is straight out of King Lear. An exquisite appropriation, complete with Shakespearian poetry. Pleased to hear at the end he did have Lear in mind. I must say I prefer this kind of delicate textual appropriation to that of, say, Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres.

I haven't read And Then We Came to the End but since audible has only an abridged version, I'll be reading that through my eyes.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Lyrical and Thoughtful

The author is an apt narrator for this novel, and his voice seemed perfectly suited to describe the experience of the main character. There is an easy flow to the narration that is nice to listen to. This novel explores illness and its effects on the arc of the characters' lives. While the actual illness suffered by the main character is a fictional, improbable one, the way in which his work, family and self must adapt is thought-provoking. Anyone who has dealt with chronic illness will find threads to identify with here, but there is much in this book about the human condition in general. A little slow to start - I enjoyed the second half more.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking, beautifully written, well read

Ferris' book lays deep tracks into issues like mental illness, marriage, family, career--all while telling a (usually) compelling story. The book is very well written--almost sparse--and even though read by author, he does a great job. The book stumbles in a few places, where author resorts to writing tricks to keep the book moving along, and the storyline is a bit predictable, but it's a good read. My only other complaint is stupid, too-long music interludes between chapters, but minor issue.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Haunting,disturbing and beautiful

Joshua Ferris does a stellar job narrating his own work. At once deeply disturbing and frightening yet beautifully wrought tale. In no way does JF "preach" but you cannot help coming away with a new found empathy for mentally ill as well as homeless people and their families. I look forward to more of JF's narrations.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

sad and boring

I get the impression that I am supposed to like and be impressed by this book, but I just wasn't. If it wasn't the audiobook, I am sure I would have stopped reading out of boredom. The audiobook is read by the author which added a unique interest and spark. It isn't as if sucked... it was.... was. The story didn't really have a point it was leading to, and it was just very depressing. I suppose that was the point, but usually something depressing can be used to spur us on to something.. but this just left me bummed out.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Lose the “mood” music

Seriously, we don’t need manipulative musical interludes to tell us how to feel. Particularly as the final sentences of the novel are read. Who made that decision, do they enjoy reading books, and do they still have a job? Worst decision ever.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

His second book is as great as the first

This book is entirely different from the first novel ....it is unusual, it is sad...beautifully written.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

DISAPPOINTED!!

I am so very disappointed in the ending, I don't understand the whole premise of what Josh Ferris was writing about at the end. Yes, the main character had to go through some life altering experiences, but to end it with what he did.....NOT A FAN!! I think I hated it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I liked it.

That really was about the saddest thing, but beautifully written and well read by the author. Well worth my time.

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars

Skip this one

Really lame.

2 people found this helpful