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FARLEY'S JEWEL

A Novel in Search of Being

by Jon Ferguson
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$11.95
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Discover Great New Writers Series, Barnes & Noble, 1998

Product Details

10-digit ISBN0-938317-34-2
13-digit ISBN9780938317340
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
Page Count150
Publication DateApril 1, 1998
RightsAll Rights Available
The U.S. fiction debut of an author and sociology major who minored in philosophy, played pro basketball in Switzerland, and now teaches English and coaches pro basketball in Lausanne. This is philosophy as fiction, or fiction as philosophy, depending on how you look at it.

Larry Farley is a philosopher on sabbatical, attempting to fit Heidegger’s notion of ”Dasein“ into a computer model. His baggage: kids, a dog, a wandering eye, a jealous wife, a mother with Alzheimer’s, and a penchant for turning the issues of life and death over and over in his heart, polishing them like a jewel. His wife throws him out, he eyes every woman who passes, his mother floats through time, but Farley’s attention is caught only by the question of being.
Abraham Verghese
—author of My Own Country and The Tennis Partner

Farley’s Jewel is a delight. In Farley, Ferguson has created a fully realized character destined to live in the imagination, much like Saul Bellow’s Humboldt. Whether he is writing about dog tricks, metaphysics or love, Ferguson writes with the authority of a master storyteller.
Kirkus Reviews
"Ferguson is nothing if not a philosopher. His hero Farley lives in Moraga (near San Francisco), teaches philosophy, reads Heidegger on Dasein (being), and has been locked out of his house for the past six months. His often-jealous and richly accusative wife Carole thinks that, after 8 years of marriage, her 40-year-old husband should not be out until two in the morning sipping Rosé with 21-year-old coeds.

The best passages here show Farley teaching and philosophizing to his students, and even to Carole, telling her that the greatest cosmological nuisance is the existence of women, since this doesn’t allow a man enough time alone to philosophize. Carole retaliates by taking Adoula, a visiting African agronomist, who learns English from old episodes of Leave It to Beaver, as her live-in lover. Ferguson’s novel is one of thoughts rather than events: it thinks, chews away on the cud of Being."
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