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The Fourth Hand

by Irving, John

  • ISBN: 9780375506277
  • ISBN10: 0375506276

The Fourth Hand

by Irving, John

  • List Price: $26.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Publish date: 07/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780375506277
  • ISBN10: 0375506276
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Description: While reporting a story from India, a New York television journalist has his left hand eaten by a lion; millions of TV viewers witness the accident. In Boston, a renowned hand surgeon awaits the opportunity to perform the nation's first hand transplant; meanwhile, in the distracting aftermath of an acrimonious divorce, the surgeon is seduced by his housekeeper. A married woman in Wisconsin wants to give the one-handed reporter her husband's left hand -- that is, after her husband dies. But the husband is alive, relatively young, and healthy.

This is how The Fourth Hand begins; it seems, at first, to be a comedy, perhaps a satire, almost certainly a sexual farce. Yet in the end, The Fourth Hand is as realistic and emotionally moving as any of Mr. Irving's previous novels -- including The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and A Widow for One Year -- or his Oscar-winning screenplay of The Cider House Rules. And while The Fourth Hand is characteristic of John Irving's seamless storytelling and it further explores some of the author's recurring themes -- loss, grief, love as redemption -- this novel also asks an interesting question: How can anyone identify a dream of the future? The answer: Destiny is not imaginable, except in dreams or to those in love.

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