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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: January 2010 ISBN: 9781600248788
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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!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • 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
  • “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.”

    Economist

  • “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.”

    AudioFile

  • 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 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 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 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 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! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannette | 1/9/2014

    " Man, this is some book. I found this gripping from the get-go and even though the plot seems to veer into odd, unexplained tangents, it never really gets too messy to put it down. Well written and throughly enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chelsea Ursaner | 1/5/2014

    " He is a great writer and I definitely wouldn't say it was a bad book but it wasn't nearly as good as Then We Came to the End. Got a little slow towards the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 12/25/2013

    " This was such a great book, but it's nearly impossible to hand-sell. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 12/13/2013

    " Probably not a book that everyone will love, or even like. But this one stuck with me for several days after I finished it, and there aren't many books out there that linger like that for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathryn | 11/19/2013

    " A deeply moving story of a man who cannot stop walking and how this compulsion impacts his family, his career, and his thought processes. Ferris has a poet's way with language and raises issues that left me too uncomfortable to recommend this book to any particular friend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gretchen | 10/4/2013

    " It was heartbreaking, and not in the satisfying way that I'm sure I was better for having my heartbroken. I don't know how to feel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 7/31/2013

    " I've never read a book like this before and It kind of broke my heart. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brenda | 1/6/2013

    " Different, but good... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 10/8/2012

    " Beautifully written, but the last third got a little weird and bleak for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 8/25/2012

    " Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down. Joshua Ferris is pretty amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 5/21/2012

    " I will start off by saying I hate love stories. I will continue by saying I loved this love story. I have never read something so heart-wrenchingly authentic. Sure, the metaphor and the existential absurdity of it was a little too blatant for me, but over all a solid good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 4/25/2012

    " Joshua Ferris is an uber-talented young writer and this is his impressive second book about a man struck with a mysterious illness - he can't stop walking. While Tim Farnsworth roams the countryside of New York state, a slave to his ever-moving legs, his family life and career are in tatters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dcsige | 12/25/2011

    " Heavy. Sad. Not as depressing as The Road, but close. Great writing though! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yasmin | 12/8/2011

    " Enjoyed this very much, bleak but beautiful--maybe ran a bit long, maybe central conceit is a little artificial...but it worked for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin Chamberlin | 10/6/2011

    " Holy bleakness, but beautifully told and so moving... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Seth | 8/23/2011

    " Ferris neatly captured aspects of law firm and well-to-do suburban life (inasmuch as my minimal experiences and exposure offered a window therein) but the overall plot didn't do much for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 5/22/2011

    " Tim can't help but walk. This seems like a preposterous thing, but Ferris does a good job of making me believe what his main character is going through. Having just read And Then We Came to the End, it seems that Ferris has a real knack for writing about inner monologues. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 5/20/2011

    " i think this may be my new favorite novel. poignant, moving, challenging. Ferris takes the imagination of the reader and makes the story real and important. fabulous. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melanie | 5/18/2011

    " Really 3.5 stars. I would have given it 4 except for the crass language. Very different book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 5/17/2011

    " Hmm...readability, vibrant characters, incessant walking, misery from page one through to the end. I could have saved my time and just re-read The Road. Well written, but I need to go watch an old Seinfeld episode now. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elinor | 5/15/2011

    " Read it in one feverish sitting, tears streaming down my face.
    Beautiful, profound, almost unbearably sad.
    Practically word-perfect.
    One of the best books about love I have ever read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caroline | 4/26/2011

    " This was messy. Empathy, character development, gorgeous prose - - but wow, what a sprawl of a plot. I'm ok with ambiguity, but this was thematically unintelligible in parts. And yes, I loved "And Then We Came To The End", so my expectations were very high. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jackson | 4/24/2011

    " Kind of repetitive. Interesting inner-struggle that got bogged down with the God rage. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 4/20/2011

    " Loved this book, now dying to get my hands on his debut novel. Smart, beautiful writing, complex but totally believable characters and an utterly original story that sticks with you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 4/17/2011

    " Heartbreaking and riveting, I could not put this book down. It will be one I suggest and/or loan out to many, and I feel like I gained something by reading it, especially at this time of my life. "

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About the Author
Author Joshua FerrisJoshua Ferris is the bestselling author of three novels, Then We Came to the End, The Unnamed and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the PEN/Hemingway Award, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize, and was named one of The New Yorker's "20 Under 40" writers in 2010. He lives in New York.