The Unnamed

The Unnamed The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I see that I previously gave Then We Came to the End 4 stars, though it was probably more like 4.5 stars. So it may be hard to rate this higher than that, but I do think it comes close. Joshua Ferris steps out of the office, literally, and takes us on a road trip without the cars. But despite the focus on the “unnamed” disease afflicting the main character, what drew me in was the intensity of his focus on the people. Tim, the hardworking lawyer beset by his walking spells; Jane, his devoted and loving wife, who picks him up while trying to deal with her own problems and her own life; and Becka, his teenage daughter wanting his love and attention. The hardship his disease causes all these people and how it affects their lives is what really makes the novel work.
There was enough in here that I thought didn’t quite work that I can’t quite give it five stars, but make no mistake: it really is a standout novel.