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The Fourth Hand by John Irving
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The Fourth Hand (2001)

by John Irving

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English (43)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
i like john irving a lot, and somehow always manage to forget how funny he is. this starts out light and interesting, funny in the odd way he is funny (by making fun of situations that really aren't actually funny in real life; he does this adeptly) and then turns more melancholy. usually i'm a fan of the melancholy, but it didn't work for me in this book, mostly because it centered around a relationship that i didn't buy at all. both the falling in love bit but also the change/shift in patrick wallingford didn't ring true to me. conceptually i liked the idea here, and i enjoyed reading it overall, but didn't like the last quarter or so when it was clear where he was going with this. also he makes the mistake of referring multiple times to (and even quoting a few times) a much superior book, the english patient, calling attention to the fact that this book isn't as well done as that one. still, i enjoy irving and this is no exception, even if it isn't one of his strongest.

(this might be the first irving that i've read with no bears and no wrestling!) ( )
  elisa.saphier | Jun 15, 2018 |
Dumb! I don't get it. It's beyond me. Patrick Wallinford, the main character loses his left and to a lion in a freak accident. The accident was seen worldwide as it happened on camera. Patrick is a news report for a cable news station. Elsewhere in Wisconsin, Mr. and Mrs. Clausen are happily married. Mrs. Clausen, seeing the news gets Mr. to say he'd give Patrick his hand if anything should ever happen to him. Mr. Clausen accidentally shoots himself. (Mrs. is not there). Mrs, thinking quickly, gives Patrick her husbands left hand on the condition she can visit! The hand cannot keep it's 'mitts' off Mrs. Clausen. She gets pregnant has the baby and now Patrick loses his hand from sudden limb rejection. They marry and live happily with only 3 hands between the 2 of them! ( )
  camplakejewel | Sep 21, 2017 |
The main character is a nice guy, too nice. He is drifting along in life and from woman to woman. When he loses his hand, he finally finds a direction in his life. ( )
  nx74defiant | Mar 12, 2017 |
Much more literate than most books I read. A note at the end by Irving on "Why I Wrote The Fourth Hand When I Wrote It" was interesting and helpful. ( )
  raizel | Jan 20, 2017 |
It's not "Owen Meany", no... but it is something special none-the-less. ( )
  bpeters65 | Jul 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
'... wie ergens naar op zoek is, verplaatst zich niet zo snel.' (de man van het telefoon bedrijf in E.B.Whites Stuart Little)
Dedication
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Voor Richard Gladstein en Lasse Hallstrom
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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.
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But books, and sometimes movies, are more personal than that; they can be mutually appreciated, but the specific reasons for loving them cannot satisfactorily be shared. (Patrick Wallingford)
Bez ustání se polekaně usmíval jako kdosi, kdo tuší, že vás už někde potkal, ale nemůže si vzpomenout, při jaké příležitosti. Možná si lámal hlavu, zda to bylo na pohřbu, nebo v bordelu, což by vysvětlovalo, proč se v jeho úsměvu tak znepokojivě snoubil zármutek s rozpaky. (s.7)
Jenže knihy - a někdy i filmy - jsou záležitostmi intimnějšího rázu: lidé se jim mohou společně obdivovat, ale každý pro to má vlastní důvody, které jsou zřídkakdy totožné s důvody druhých lidí. (s.248)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345463153, Mass Market Paperback)

Like anything newsworthy, miracles of medicine and technology inevitably make their way out of the headlines and become the stuff of fiction. In recent years readers have been absorbed by media accounts of a transplanted hand, an experiment that ultimately ended in amputation. Medical ethicists reason that a hand, unlike a heart or a liver--essential organs conveniently housed out of sight--is in full view and one of a pair, arguably dispensable. In his 10th novel, however, John Irving undertakes to imagine just such a transplant, which involves a donor, a recipient, a surgeon, a particular Green Bay Packer fan, and the remarkable left hand that brings them together.

Television reporter Patrick Wallingford becomes a story himself when he loses his hand to a caged lion while in India covering a circus. The moment is captured live on film, and Patrick (who wears a "perpetual but dismaying smile--the look of someone who knows he's met you before but can't recall the exact occasion") is henceforth known as the lion guy. Before long, plans are made to equip Patrick with a new hand. Doctor Nicholas M. Zajac, superstar surgeon, indefatigable dog-poop scooper, runner, and part-time father, is poised to perform the operation. But the donor--or rather the widow of the donor--has a few stipulations. Doris Clausen wants to meet the one-handed reporter before the procedure, and insists on visitation rights afterward. Irving weaves these characters and a panoply of others together in a smart, funny, readable narrative. Often farcical, The Fourth Hand is ultimately something more: a tender chronicle of the redemptive power of love. --Victoria Jenkins

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:52 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

While reporting a story from India, a New York television journalist has his left hand eaten by a lion and finds his life forever change when he becomes the first person to receive a hand transplant.

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