B.S. Johnson’s lost classic has been showered with praise: New York Magazine named The Unfortunates one of their Ten Best Books of 2008, listed in The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2008, and The Los Angeles Times declared it to be “his most daring work.”
A legendary 1960s experiment in form, The Unfortunates is B. S. Johnson’s famous “book in a box,” in which the chapters are presented unbound, to be read in any order the reader chooses. A sportswriter, sent to a Midlands town on a weekly assignment, finds himself confronted by ghosts from the past when he disembarks at the train station. Memories of one of his best, most trusted friends, a tragically young victim of cancer, begin to flood through his mind as he attempts to go about the routine business of reporting a soccer match.
The Unfortunates is a book of passionate honesty and dark, courageous humor: a meditation on death and a celebration of friendship which also offers a remarkably frank self-portrait of its author.
W. W.\Norton#& Company Limited