Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Book Review: The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris

Book description:

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.

My review:

I was intrigued by the premise of this book. What would it be like if I or my husband had such a condition that forced me to walk for hours on end? One that no one else seemed to suffer from and doctors could not diagnose? How patient would I be in dealing with this strange "disorder"?

The UnnamedAs I got into the first few chapters, I saw a loving wife who, despite all the difficulties and dangers involved in her husband's walks around the city, is determined to take care of and protect her husband, no matter what it takes. At one point, I got excited as the plot took a huge turn and became rather exciting.

However, the excitement did not last for long. The rest of the book was monotonous and repetitive as the main character left home for good and wandered around the country, sleeping in a tent and refusing offers of help from others. There was no real climax or satisfying conclusion. Where there should have been some kind of growth in the characters, there was  only selfishness and resignation to fate.

I finished this book with a disappointed feeling. What started out as a good idea ended with a not-so-good novel. Obviously, I do not recommend this book to anyone.


Stephanie said...

This book seems like it is well received, although I had the EXACT same reaction to it as you. I'm currently working on my review and will link to yours if you don't mind.

DebD said...

thanks for the review. It certainly has an interesting premise. Too bad it didn't deliver.