The Unnamed (FREE)
The Balance of George Lucas's Star Wars lUpgrading from 3 to 4 stars because for some reason I keep thinking about this book even though I read itike a year ago and because I fucking Lovecraft Country love the audacity of the opening sentenceWhat an odd bookThe first section really is magnificent instantly hooking you with descriptions of the bizarre illness alluded to in the title as well as vivid sketches of the sufferer sife at home and at work Some early office set scenes actually do offer an interesting echo with Ferris Then We Came to the End containing the book s sole nods toward humor although Ferris Memorii, vol. I-II loses interest in the work thread pretty uickly a symptom of his surprisingack of focus in this novel All the pieces are in place for Ferris to pull off a wrenching tragedy As is my wont I was imagining the cinematic possibilities a man wakes up in an unfamiliar place alone and disoriented he shakes the sleep from his body and waits for his mind to follow suit takes out his phone and then we cut to the car ride home with his wife all tense silences and Full Steam Ahead, Felix: Adventures of a famous station cat and her kitten apprentice lens flares Later an unbroken shot of the man walking walking over bridges and along sides of highways walking and then stopping and then cut back to the wake call ride ritual The blinking editing rhythms plunging us into his vicious cycle of involuntary escape and shameful return If nothing else this first section could make a fine piece of elliptical filmmaking And of course it works on its own as a study of a family under catastrophic duress the wife and daughter just as compelling as the manAnd then shit gets weird In what I can only assume is a show of solidarity with his perambulatory protagonist Ferris ditches the sharp sense of purpose he had in the first section and starts wandering aimlessly in the narrative hinterlands Wife and daughter recede into the background plot elements introduced earlier fail to pay off even cursorily different thematicphilosophical hats are tried on none purchased Voice and tone become crushingly inconsistent It s established that the characters don t know what causes the man s condition but does Ferris know Did he have any sort of endgame or overarching design in mind It feelsike he was just winging it But ine by ine the book remains fascinating and although the shift in conflict from external to internal cuts off too much of the reader s air supply it s an understandable choice and a gutsy one One thing Ferris doesn t ack is balls The Unnamed is a ong way from the fully realized masterpiece that was Then We Came to the End but I still recommend it and I think it confirms that Ferris is a writer of conseuence and substance who could develop into one of our interesting prestige novelists Contrary to the Goodreaders disappointed over Ferris departure from comedy I applaud him for trying something different even if it didn t totally work Again balls Tim Farnsworth has a problem At times he is overwhelmed by an irresistable urge to walk Not just around the block a time or two but to the point of exhaustion regardless of the weather regardless of whatever else demands his time ike his job as a awyer his comfortable suburban home his family His wandering can go on for days at a time a sort of sober bender until he is felled by exhaustion His wife Jane manages as best she can helping him prepare when he knows the compulsion is on him then picking him up from wherever he winds up hours days weeks ater Despite attempts to gain a medical diagnosis none can be found But Tim s walking is destroying his health career his family and ultimately his sanity Of course Tim s condition seems metaphorical Wrap it up in whatever works Maybe it represents the unavoidable base of human nature erupting forth through the plastic garb of civilization and taking control Ferris says otherwise that he wanted to explore how sickness strips away one s ife the ink
I Found To This Interview found to this interview to have gone
FOR AN EXTENDED WALK HIS WORK an extended walk His work a awyer defines Tim even to the point of ignoring his family But his illness takes that away He Imagine That! loves his family even his difficult daughter Becka but his illness strips that from him as well He retains his feelings for Jane and his daughter but cannot sustain a normal relationship with themI was struck by two elements in the book Jane manages to hold on to her feelings for and eagerness to connect with Timong after most would have simply given up It was a very touching Elena's Conquest love story Who would endure so much for soong for any of us As Tim descends into forms of psychosis I was reminded of Richard Matheson s The Shrinking Man in which his character must contend with a reality that has been thrust on him through no fault of his own also stripping him of the world he knew There are ruminations in The Unnamed on the differences between the body and soul God and religion nature and the spiritual Without God the body won and that couldn t be possible He was one thing his body a different thing altogether and he was willing a separation in which he went off to eternal repair while it suffered its due fate of rough handling dirt and rot P 221 There are beautiful passages here Winter comes in for particularly vivid Sister of My Heart language It was the cruelest winter The winds were rabid off the rivers Ice came downike poisoned darts Four blizzards in January alone and the snowbanks froze into gray barricades as grim and impenetrable as anything in war Tombstones were buried across the cemetery fields and cars parked curbside were swallowed undigestedAnother returns to deathly imagesThe cemetery had been retired under a white sheet Darkness now settled over it ike dust A black Mercedes threaded its way through the maze of winding streets p62i m a sucker for writing streets p62I m a sucker for writing thatI suppose one might see Jane as Ariadne offering her Hercules a way to get home and he does try succeeding in some but not all efforts There are road trip elements here particularly wh. Eigentlich will Tim Farnsworth nur funktionieren Im Beruf In seiner Ehe Als Vater Warum auch nicht hat er doch alles was es für ein erfülltes Leben braucht Erfolg Wohlstand familiäres Glück Doch dann ist von einem Tag auf den anderen nichts mehr wie es war Denn er sieht sich getrieben das zu zerstören was er iebtTim Farnsworth ist ein attraktiver Mann im besten Alter Seine Frau Jane iebt ihn trotz mancher Krisen auch nach all den Jahren noch Obwohl er meist bis spätabends in seinem Büro in einer angesehenen Anwaltskanzlei in Manhattan arbeitet mag er seinen Job Und. T crap or present them in certain moments and allow the reader to infer their three dimensionalness without having it shoved down the reader s throat This isn t a perfect novel nor did the author clean everything up or even justify the inclusion of everything But it was bold daring engaging and sometimes even moving Taken Class of 92: Out of Our League literally as being about illness or whatever it s just an okay novel But when you dig deeper into the metaphor and the relationship as you could with Time Traveler s Wife I think you find a profound if incomplete exploration of the struggle many find themselves in the war against selfishness the battle for self control especially as it affects our families the people weove most Highly recommended especially with the author s excellent reading Joshua Ferris s The Unnamed is a purposeless relentlessly depressing book I get the sense Ferris was chugging balls out on the downer path because he didn t want to minimize the darkness but I think he Portrait of a Starter: An Unhidden Story lost his way when he chose to focus nearly exclusively on the worst moments of strained marriages and mental illness Listen I ve gone through dark stretches in my existence I imagine most of us have but not every second of the day is painful and dour Theack of any How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly--and the Stark Choices Ahead light in the charactersives at all at east until a well written but somewhat awkwardly tacked on excuse for a happy ending removes credibility from the storyline Er I suppose I should start at the beginning The Unnamed referenced in the book s title is the main character s irresistible impulse to get up out of nowhere eave his wife daughter and high powered awyer gig to walk almost in a trance until he collapses and wakes a few hours ater Even this was horseshit though if you ask me because the narrative often seemed to Moonrise land the character in bad neighborhoods amongst dangerous people for the sake of plot tension How come the guy never woke up behind an affluent suburban Starbucks Ferris uses the obscure nature of the disorder to mask some huge narrativeeaps that felt Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi lazy to me He nails the perspective of those outside the mental illness particularly the main character s wife s and he s good with details on theong walks But this book After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405 like the character s walking meanders without reaching a destination I think the walking is supposed to be some big metaphor for isolation or compulsion or whatever but even if that s the case Ferris s execution is half assed at best For example Ferris makes passing reference to the fact the walker has money in the bank and can access resources at atms across the country So his wife who is searching for him everywhere never thinks to cut him off or track him through his withdrawls and purchases And he only ends up interacting negatively with the police a few times C mon man Booklist s review cited on the inner jacket calls the book a devastating metaphoric take on the yearning for connection and the struggles of commitment What Maybe if a high school sopho wrote it I could forgive the holes and monotone nature but nah not at thisevelYou know how comedic actors sometimes attempt to transition from comedy to serious drama but the effort seems forced I felt that way reading The Unnamed This novel seems a reaction to the author s ighter and better
Then We Came To The End Maybe he needed to exorcise this book s demons before We Came To The End Maybe he needed to exorcise this book s demons before on to the next novel Maybe he has a personal history with mental illness and the subject matter is important to him That doesn t mean i got much from reading t mean I got much from reading Unnamed The book feels ike a grim and un nuanced drag without much of a point Ferris s sopho novel is well sophomoric Bleh If I could give this than five stars I would I don t think I ve been this affected by a novel in years Above all it is a novel of great compassionThe premise seemed both abstract and far fetched a man is afflicted with a disease or a condition which causes him to walk suddenly unable to stop until he eventually drops from exhaustion But Joshua Ferris makes this than a conceptual conundrum He makes it the detailed examined story of what it would be ike to be this man and have to ive ife this way and how such a ife would develop and wanderTim Farnsworth is a wealthy awyer sort of a schmuck but good at what he does There s a ot of suspense built into the way his condition affects his work ife in particular one high profile case nearing trial There s even suspense the heart of the book really about how his suffering extends to his family He has a oving relationship with a wife and a complicated relationship with a teenage daughter The bonds of these relationships are tested and this gives the book much of its emotional power These characters are in a very particular situation but what they go through comes to feel universalThe Unnamed made me feel for the first time in years the impact of Beautiful Ghosts large enduring unanswerable uestions uestions I thought I d become inured to about the division between the body and the mind what it means toive in a body that doesn t work the way you want it to how medical affliction and spiritual affliction are related and how Alexandra, Gone life is so often out of our control It even made me reconsider a word that I don tike very much at all soul which seemed in Ferris s inuisitive insistent writing style a subject worth grappling with againI A Year in 120 Recipes listened to this on an audio download got it from Audiblecom read by the author His voice is so easy toisten to and perfect for the story He gets into each character with a F. Scott Fitzgerald lot of feeling but does not over act the drama they way professional actors sometimes do on audiobooks I may very well read the hardcover now Pretty mature stuff for such a young writer to tackle justook at the dude s pic on the back cover Power of the imagination friends The disintegration of a fully realized contemporary American male adult is displayed here embarrassment and heartbreak and all. Ch versucht ihm dabei beizustehen ist es am Ende doch ein Weg den er ganz alleine gehen mussGesellschaftsroman Eheroman Psychodrama »Ins Freie« ist ein ebenso beeindruckendes wie verstörendes Buch über die Zwänge der Gesellschaft und die apokalyptischen Kräfte in uns selbst Es ist ein Buch über eine dunkle Obsession die einen Menschen am Ende dazu bringt das zu zerstören was er iebt Es ist die bewegende Geschichte eines Paares das sein glückliches Leben als Selbstverständlichkeit betrachtet bis von einem Tag auf den anderen alles unwiederbringlich auseinanderbric.