Friday, January 22, 2010

(6) The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris

I am not sure that I have ever read such a tragic book.

Joshua Ferris has written a novel that leaves me feeling, sad. No, sad is not the right word. Unsettled. His new novel is one that may be identifiable to those of you who have had to deal with the tragic illness of your spouse, but for me, who has only known marital bliss in three weeks of marriage, it felt as if I were guiltily watching a tragic train wreck and could not look away.

In The Unnamed Joshua Ferris tells us the story of successful lawyer, Tim Farnsworth. Tim has been living a normal life with his daughter, Bekka, and adoring wife, Jane, while his Unnamed disease has been in remission. There is no name for his disease. He has an addiction to walking. There is no explanation for why it happens or when it is going to happen. But when The Unnamed hits, Tim hits the road and will walk for miles upon miles. Day after day. Until his body physically can not take another step & he drops wherever he lands.

Soon, Tim gives up on the doctors. He sees that his Unnamed illness is destroying his wife and daughter. One day, when Jane says "Come Home" as opposed to "Where Are You" he decides to stop fighting the Unnamed and thinks they would be better off if he just keeps walking. He is sure that he will walk himself to death.

He was euphoric with the certainty of physical death.

Years go by. His body slowly being ravaged by the elements and the pure physical torture of his non-stop walking. His family wants to move on, but they want him to come home more. Will Tim be able to beat The Unnamed and live a normal life? Or will his disease destroy them all?

The Unnamed is a well written novel that will capture your attention. But to warn you, it is a hard read. The physical and emotional torture that Tim puts himself, and his beloved through will make your heart ache. A good read, but not for the faint of heart.


Lisa Mandina said...

Interesting disease. I have often thought when I'm walking it would be nice to just keep walking forever, kind of like Forrest Gump just ran for a long time.

Heidi said...

Interesting idea. Not sure I can read it. My husband has dealt with chronic illness and I have nearly lost him twice. So the mere thought of losing him or of reading a story of someone else suffering in that way just sucks the air right out of my chest and leaves me with an ache I cannot move past.

On a lighter note, I really, really like your new template! Looks fantastic!

Charlotte's Web of Books said...

Heidi, then I recommend you not read this book for it may hit too close to home. I haven't had to deal with anything that tragic & it hurt my heart to read it.

And thanks!! RE: New look!

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