Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book 43: The Fourth Hand by John Irving


Title: The Fourth Hand by John Irving

Pages: 352

How it was obtained: I bought it for a dime at the library.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 2 years.

Days spent reading it: 2 days.

Why I read it: I liked other John Irving novels (A Prayer for Owen Meany is incredible). This book was in good shape, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Brief review: Ok, I feel like I need to review this book by saying two things. First, John Irving is an incredible story teller. He draws you right into his world. The narrative is smooth. He is a natural story teller. No doubt about it.

Having said that, the second piece of information about this book is: The Fourth Hand could have been a Harlequin Romance novel. There were more adult situations in this book than I am comfortable admitting I read. I cannot ever recommend this book to anyone based on the content alone.

The main character (his name is Patrick), loses his hand to a lion at the beginning of the novel. He becomes the recipient of a hand transplant, but the oddities increase when the wife of the (deceased) hand donor wants to visit the hand. It could have been interesting. Instead it was trash. Patrick is a jerk that has a ridiculous power over women. They all want to sleep with him, and he lets them. He has no real morals. I'd call him reprehensible. And he does not seem to change very much through the book. Alright, so he does a little by the end, but I don't buy the change. It is forced and not very consistent with the character.

So, what I am basically telling you is avoid this book. Sure, it's well written, but the content is trash. John Irving should know better.

Favorite quote: You can never exactly imitate someone else's love of a movie or a book, Patrick now believed.

Stars: 2 out of 5.

Final Word: TMI.

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