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Extended Audio Sample The Unnamed, by Joshua Ferris Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,645 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joshua Ferris Narrator: Joshua Ferris Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Joshua Ferris' debut novel Then We Came to the End was both heralded by critics and a New York Times bestseller, 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 come 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. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • It's something to behold, this book...a breathtaking debut. Ain't It Cool News
  • It's something to behold, this book...a breathtaking debut. Ain't It Cool News
  • Ferris delivers an understated reading that is all the more moving for its subtlety...The audio features a not-to-be-missed interview with the author. Publishers Weekly
  • There isn't a moment when Ferris the reader loses one's attention to what Ferris the writer has to say. AudioFile
  • “Ferris shows a talent for the grotesque in his riveting descriptions of Tim’s decline. He also includes his specialty—scenes of juicy office intrigue. But what’s most engrossing in his portrait of a couple locked in an extreme version of a familiar conflict—the desire to stay together versus an inexplicable yearning to walk away.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “An unnerving portrait of a man stripped of civilization’s defenses. Ferris’ prose is brash, extravagant, and, near the end, chillingly beautiful.”

    New Yorker

  • “Ferris puts his notable wit and observational ability aside in favor of a far more psychological (and ultimately physical) examination of the self…An accomplished and daring work by a writer just now realizing what he is capable of creating.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “You can’t break away from the grip of these opening chapters…Ferris usually writes in a steady, cool voice whether delivering the quotidian details of office work or existential observations about God that would otherwise sound grandiose. The effect is a terrifying portrayal of intermittent mental illness, the way the fear of relapse becomes a kind of specter, mocking each recovery and shredding any hope of a cure.”

    Washington Post

  • “Ferris is wise enough not to teach a lesson. Rather, he has teased ordinary circumstances into something extraordinary, which is exactly what we want our fiction writers to do.”


  • “At once riveting, horrifying, and deeply sad, The Unnamed, like Tim’s feet, moves with a propulsion all its own. This is fiction with the force of an avalanche, snowballing unstoppable until it finally comes to rest.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Remarkable…Ferris manages to inject a bizarre whimsy into a devastatingly sad story, with each of Tim’s outings revealing a new aspect of his marriage. The novel’s circular aspects…integrate Ferris’ themes of family, sickness, and the uncertain division between body and mind into a vastly satisfying and original book.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Dark and utterly compelling…With his 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 millenium.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “For those skeptical of authors narrating their own works, Exhibit A for the defense might justifiably be Joshua Ferris and his engrossing second novel. …Best of all is Ferris’ perfectly rendered performance of the story’s dialogue, complete with its false starts, misunderstandings, distractions, and everything else that comprises the way we actually talk to each other. There isn’t a moment when Ferris the reader loses one’s attention to what Ferris the writer has to say.”


  • A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book
  • Selected for the January 2010 Indie Next List
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, January 2010
  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice: Adult Books, 2010

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tom | 1/26/2014

    " A very good novel, but for some reason it was very slow going for the first half. Then the author finally captured my attention and I loved the remainder. A very sad love story and fascinating tale of an imaginary ailment. I will never view "homeless" men walking along the highway in the same way again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Emily | 1/23/2014

    " I really liked this book at the beginning, but the more I read, the less I liked it. Joshua Ferris is by no means a poor writer, but a quirky idea can only take you so far. I might check out his other novel, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jenny | 1/20/2014

    " Awesome exploration of mind, relationship, and life and death. Loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sarah Nicole | 1/16/2014

    " A devastating story of a man who must walk, to the detriment of his career, family, and sanity; and the wife and daughter who love and care for him. Started slowly, but ended powerfully and beautifully. Ferris's writing style is vivid and fresh, never garish. His ability to capture the most minute moments between characters and make them profound has me eager to read his first book, Then We Came To The End, as well. I would recommend The Unnamed to anyone who enjoys literature that makes them feel - frustrated, heartbroken, inspired. Thank you, Trav, for sending this to me! "

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