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THE UNNAMED by Joshua Ferris

Tags: walk
Tim Farnsworth, a partner in a New York law firm, suffers from bouts of the ultimate wanderlust.  When the urge to walk hits him, he can’t stop until he drops.  He eventually falls asleep in his tracks, even if he is in his bathrobe and barefoot in a snowstorm.  This affliction has his doctors baffled and his wife, Jane, at her wit’s end.  She has tried handcuffing him to the bed, but that solution is just as impractical as insisting that he keep a backpack of warm clothing with him at all times.  As he embarks on one of his unplanned excursions, he encounters a man who claims to have the knife with which a woman was murdered.  Tim is defending the man charged with the murder but can’t interrupt his walk to get more info from the man with the knife.  This failing is almost as crushing for Tim as the effect that his walking has on his family.  His compulsion is not entirely believable and is no doubt a metaphor for something I can’t identify, although drug addiction comes to mind.  Equally unbelievable is the fact that his episodes do not elicit the harassment that vagrants often endure or the pilfering of his wallet while he is sleeping in inconvenient places.  In fact, his odysseys are largely uneventful, except for the toll they take on his body.  Still, the issues with his job and his family keep this unusual story from seeming too outrageously absurd.



This post first appeared on Patti's Pages, please read the originial post: here

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THE UNNAMED by Joshua Ferris

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