A terrific must-read new novel

Tim Farnsworth, the character at the heart of the new, astonishing and compelling novel The Unnamed, by Joshua Ferris , suffers from a mysterious ailment that strikes without warning: He is compelled to walk until physical exhaustion forces him to stop. Can walking really be so dangerous? Just you wait.

The Unnamed is a much darker read than Ferris’s acclaimed 2007 debut, Then We Came to the End. Tim’s condition threatens his comfortable existence—his partnership at a prestigious law firm, his home life and his sanity—and he and his family must reassess everything they’ve taken for granted when it comes to stability and commitment. The doctors and specialists, as the title suggest, can’t figure out what the disease is, or if its origin is in Tim’s body or brain. But as this devastating book makes clear, in the end, it doesn’t matter.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. A terrific must-read new novel