The Unnamed

by Joshua Ferris | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0316078174 Global Overview for this book
Registered by FarmGirl_40 of Dracut, Massachusetts USA on 5/31/2019
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by FarmGirl_40 from Dracut, Massachusetts USA on Friday, May 31, 2019
Age range: Older teen/adult

A story about a family man (a successful lawyer with a happy family life) who has an "unnamed" condition- the inexplicable need to physically wander away from his life as he knows it. After each "episode" he walks further and further, without really understanding why.

I read this some time ago, and really enjoyed this novel.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, June 30, 2019
I took this book from the Little Free Library while dropping off some books of my own; I read it a while back and thought I'd nab it for another release copy.

Its premise, a man who suffers from an uncontrollable urge to walk, seemed intriguing - but I admit I'd expected a more otherworldly tone to the story for some reason. As it is, it's a mix of medical mystery, psychological torment, and some heartwarming notes regarding the ways family can try to stay connected even in the face of wildly distressing situations.

In-story, the main character's syndrome is something that doctors can't diagnose, leading to the general conclusion that it's a psychological issue; later in the story he agrees to go on medication. But it doesn't stop his need to walk, and in the end we have no idea what caused the syndrome - though that's part of the point, I think: sometimes things just happen...

The symptoms of his walkabouts are highly distressing, as the first incident we witness takes place during very cold weather, where his tendency to simply wander off can leave him subject to frostbite or worse. (He has some small amount of control over taking things with him when the walking kicks in, but even that can fail, such that he has to take survival gear with him at all times or risk waking up lost, chilled, and bloody. This reminded me a LOT of some of the scenes from Time Traveler's Wife, where Henry would sometimes find himself in extremely fraught situations after another time-jump - but he didn't have the option to take anything with him.)

By the end of the story, Tim's situation resembled that of all too many homeless people, mentally ill in some way or other, such that they can reach out for help now and then but turn away and move on after a while. I don't know if the author was trying to lead the reader into sympathy for that situation; it felt that way at times, but as main character Tim has a couple of things going for him that most homeless people do not - including a generous budget, which he seems to be able to draw on almost anywhere, thanks to some planning by his family - it doesn't always map.

So... an intriguing, often wrenching, sometimes touching story, but one that left me a bit baffled!

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Durham, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Released 4 mos ago (7/17/2019 UTC) at Durham, New Hampshire USA


I'm taking this to BCer Iddylu at our mini-meet. Enjoy!

*** Released for the 2019 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***

Journal Entry 4 by wingIddyluwing at Durham, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Thank you! Reserving to take on an upcoming trip.

Released 3 mos ago (8/21/2019 UTC) at See release notes for details in Ilulisat, Northern Greenland Greenland


I plan to leave this book somewhere in Ilulissat! Of course, I'm not there yet, but I won't have internet when I am there so I'm making my release notes ahead of time. Once I'm home, I'll add more details about the release location and a picture.


Left on a bench by the old historic church (I'll come back and edit in the name when I'm not on my phone...!).

Journal Entry 6 by ej66 at Ilulisat, Northern Greenland Greenland on Thursday, August 22, 2019
I am on a cruise and stopped in Ilulissat.. and walked to the beautiful church at the seaside.. sitting down on a bench I saw a book in a plastic bag and wondered what it was.. and there we are.. so happy to have found it.. I ran out of books on the cruise anyway and my kindle is not working... so perfect mach and happy to start reading it today .. thank you so much!!

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