A captivating debut from exciting new talent Sean Ferrell, Numb is the endearing tale of a man with no memory or ability to feel pain, who attracts a colorful crowd of sycophants and exploiters while trying to come to terms with who he really is. Fans of the work of Richard Powers, Gary Shteyngart, and Thomas Pynchon—and of the films The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Truman Show, and the cinematic oeuvre of Charlie Kaufman—will love the unique and entertaining Numb.
Early one morning‚ after a sandstorm had ripped through north Texas‚ I wandered into Mr. Tilly's circus. I wore a black suit and blood ran down my face. When some of the carnies came up to me, I said, "I'm numb." This became my name.
A man with no memory who feels no pain, Numb travels to New York City after a short stint with the circus, following the one and only clue he holds to his hidden history: a brittle, bloodstained business card. But once there, word of his condition rapidly spreads—sparked by the attention he attracts by letting people nail his hands to wooden bars for money—and he quickly finds himself hounded on all sides by those who would use his unique ability in their own pursuits of fame and fortune. It is a strange world indeed that Numb numbly stumbles through, surrounded by crowds of suck-ups and opportunists, as he confronts life's most basic and difficult question: Who am I?
Sean Ferrell's Numb is a wildly entertaining examination of identity, friendship, pain, and the cult of celebrity that heralds the arrival of a fresh and uniquely inventive literary voice.