Stock Image


Irving, John

25,571 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375506276 / ISBN 13: 9780375506277
Published by Random House, Incorporated, New York, NY, U.S.A., 2001
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kathleen Simpson (Simi Valley, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since July 15, 1998

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 30.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: Free Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

A 316 page novel. As new and unread. Dust jacket is enclosed in a clear mylar cover. Bookseller Inventory # 12285

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Random House, Incorporated, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title


The Fourth Hand 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."

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 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-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.

The Fourth Hand is characteristic of John Irving's seamless storytelling and further explores some of the author's recurring themes-loss, grief, love as redemption. But this novel also breaks new ground; it offers a penetrating look at the power of second chances and the will to change.


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

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Modern Fiction and Mystery. New and used. Many signed. For further information, please contact me at 805-582-0162.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

Kathleen Simpson, 2992 Chippewa Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93063. Telephone and
fax number 805-579-9656. E-mail is Shipping and handling via
Media Mail. Priority mail available upon request. Shipping and handling is
quoted for heavy books and foreign orders. Full refund for books returned in
as-shipped condition within 10 days of shipping date, for any reason. Books can
be held for 10 days with E-mail or telephone request. Prices are subject to
change without notice until receipt o...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 2 business days. See Terms of Sale below.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express