the Goliard
Volume 1 Issue 1

February 2002

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[What's the Rating System?]

The Fourth Hand

Irving is not really up to speed here. If you are new to Irving, read The World According to Garp, A Widow for One Year, Hotel New Hampshire, A Son of the Circus, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Setting Free the Bears, The 158 lb Marriage, The Water Method Man, Cider House Rules, and his Piggy Sneed offerings before picking this one up.

What the Fourth Hand lacks are likeable characters other than a surgeon who hucks dog poo with a lacrosse stick and he leaves the tale midway. There are some classic but rather typical Irving moments mixed in to a somewhat far fetched story which is not resolved satisfactorily. Probably his worst book although still better than most. Definitely wait for the paperback.


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