The Fourth Hand, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


'Imagine a young man on his way to a less-than-thirty-second event - the loss of his left hand, long before he reached middle age.' 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.

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...


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Reading this was like struggling to eat soggy cereal - I kept hoping the next mouthful might have a raisin to redeem it, but it never did. Eventually I forced it all down.It was bland, tedious, and vaguely annoying. I found everyone so covered in exaggerated oddness that there was no character underneath to identify with. And there was a strange middle-aged-boy fantasy feel to it, where every woman in the book is irresistibly drawn to an unappealing male character. The poop-eating dog seemed to be the only female with taste!I was an avid reader of [[John Irving]] while I was in college, and I still enjoy rereading his books from that period. But his later ones have all disappointed me. It is possible that I am still cross about the introduction to [A Son of the Circus], which said something silly about not needing to go to India to write an novel about India. I mean, what an irritating stance to take, avoiding an entire country just to make a literary point (grin.)

Review by

Patrick Wallingford, a New York Journalist, Accidentally allows a Lion to eat his left hand! Which leaves him forever known as the "Lion Guy", as millions of viewers witness the event on TV, as he is interviewing someone at the time!A renowned plastic surgeon Dr Zajac offers to do the worlds second hand transplant for him. The only down side being that the wife of the hand donor (who is safely dead) wants to have visitor rights to the hand afterwards!And so we have the recipe for a weird and wonderful story that is funny, sad and eye opening for all concerned!I really enjoyed this book, but then I love anything John Irving presents to us, he has the most delicious sense of the absurd, but always manages to pull out of it a thought provoking story!