Life...The Most Complicated Thought

The unexamined life is not worth living. ~Socrates

The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris

The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris was something different to say the least. I enjoyed listening to it and I think the author did an excellent job narrating it. There is no differentiation in voice when it comes to different characters, but from the starting, I associated his voice with the main character, Tim.

Tim Farnsworth is a partner in a law firm. He has a beautiful wife named Jane and a daughter, Becka. However, there is a chance that he will lose it all. He calls his wife to say, "It's back" and that will change everything. Tim has a condition, which makes him walk. He walks miles and miles and for hours until he is so tired that he falls asleep. His wife picks him up from random places at random hours. At first, his daughter feels that Tim is doing all this on purpose. That changes over time as she grows order and sees her dad struggle with this condition. However, in the end, it is Tim who has to deal with it and stop himself from walking away from his life.

I read about this novel on NPR and found the plot interesting. Whenever I took a break from listening to the novel (when I got to work or home) I kept wondering what will happen next until I got a chance to listen to it again. Joshua Ferris creates these characters and makes them so real that the readers feel emotionally attached to them. Even though this novel is fiction, there is a non-fiction feel to it. I think some readers might be able to relate to the frustrations Tim and Jane face throughout the novel. The readers will sympathize with the characters, their triumphs, and their loses (not too many triumphs though). This novel is definitely on the sad end of the scale.

I felt that Joshua Ferris did not leave any questions unanswered and lose ends. The story starts from the beginning and ends at the End. The readers are not kept wondering about the future or wishing for an alternate end (at least I wasn't.) I felt the ending was very peaceful as compared to the whole book. I give this book 8.5/10.

This book qualifies for the Audio Book Challenge.

P.S. Here are the two NPR articles: An Aimless Walk With An 'Unnamed' Destination by Glen Weldon (book review) and Tracking A Man's Life, In Endless Footsteps (author interview).

Now I am listening to The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker and enjoying it so far. I am also reading M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman.


Nice review. I am intrigued and going to make a note to add this one to my pile. :)


I listened to it and I think Joshua Ferris did an excellent job.


Wow... I wonder how it will be like to be in that situation. I am sure it will be frustrating!

Thank you... I am sure I will look for this here.