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Farley's Jewel

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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