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 dazzling novel about a marriage and a family and the unseen forces of nature and desire that seem to threaten them both. It is the heartbreaking story of a life taken for granted and what happens when that life is abruptly and irrevocably taken away.
My take: I honestly can't decide whether I loved this book or hated it. I can say that Joshua Ferris is an excellent writer. He writes simplistically and concisely captures the emotion and mood in beautiful yet simple prose.
If taken literally, the protagonist suffers from Dissociative Fugue with psychotic features, eventually evolving into full-blown psychosis with moments of lucidity. Figuratively, the protagonist can be any person suffering from an addiction or illness that can not be explained by medical research.
The story begins with the protagonist having an "episode." He has a compulsion to walk. And he walks away from whatever he is doing regardless of the weather. He walks until he collapses from fatigue. The story covers a number of years as his malady progresses, his marriage changes, his daughter grows up, and life continues. It is a story of marriage and family. It is a story of illness; mental or physical. It is a story of addiction.
Rather than tell you more about it, I'll let you read about it here. Check out the Reading Group Guide for direction. Then read the book. I'll help you get started.
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