When Joshua Ferris’s first book came out, Then They Came to the End, everybody went ga-ga for it. I wasn’t a big fan, but it made me curious for his next book. He had a particular style and keen use of observation. His second book, The Unnamed, I think is a much stronger follow up.
Tim Farnsworth is a lawyer who has the mysterious illness that has him start walking. He walks into the woods and abandons everything. It doesn’t matter what he’s doing or what he’s wearing. It’s a weird premise but Ferris takes it completely serious and shows the heartache involved. His family is constantly worried about him, especially his wife.
There are some lacking portions in the middle of the book, but the end is a very satisfying conclusion. It all works because the couple is incredibly realized and sympathetic.