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 mdash; that is, after her husband dies. But the husband is alive, relatively young, and healthy.
This is how John Irving's tenth novel 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 mdash; including The World According to Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, and A Widow for One Year mdash; or his Oscar-winning screenplay of The Cider House Rules. And while The Fourth Hand is characteristic of John Irving's seamless storytelling and further explores some of the author's recurring themes mdash; loss, grief, love as redemption mdash; this novel also breaks new ground; it offers a penetrating look at the power of second chances and the will to change.
- ISBN-13: 9780345417947
- ISBN-10: 0345417941
- Publisher: Ballantine Books
- Publish Date: June 1997
- Dimensions: 8.27 x 5.58 x 1.29 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.13 pounds
- Page Count: 640