The Unwritten Book

Farrar. Apr. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780374604912. $28. LIT
The latest work by novelist Hunt (The Invention of Everything Else) is not easily classified or described. The general premise is an exploration of the significance of books that are never written or never finished because life and death rob people of time and space to take on their projects. However, the moment this book begins to settle comfortably onto one path, it suddenly veers off in a completely different direction. Throughout the work, Hunt shares pieces of a novel her late father worked on for many years but never finished. These pieces leave readers pondering the writing process and the possible routes the work could have taken. Hunt adds her own notes and thoughts to her father’s incomplete work, focusing on his life and writing process. Interspersed with these pieces of someone else’s unfinished fiction are vignettes from Hunt’s own life. Grappling with death is a theme throughout Hunt’s work; the natures of reality and the paranormal are also common motifs.
VERDICT Without an overarching narrative to hold the many fragments of this work together, it can be challenging to stay invested in the book, despite Hunt’s beautiful writing. But anyone seeking an exceptionally unusual, thought-provoking reading experience will find it here.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing