The fourth hand

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The fourth hand (2001, original title: The Fourth Hand ) is the tenth novel by the American writer John Irving . The translation is by Nikolaus Stingl.


The main actor is Patrick Wallingford, who works as a journalist for a news channel . At the beginning of the story, he is considered more of a philanderer than a serious journalist. On a job in India, a lion bites off his hand in front of the camera. From then on, the whole world knows him as the "Lion Man".

In the course of the plot he comes across Dr. Zajac, an expert in hand surgery. He wants to carry out the world's first successful hand transplant. A certain Otto Clausen comes into question as a possible donor. Mr. Clausen is happily married. The only thing missing from the Clausen couple is a child. Mr. Clausen dies in a tragic accident on Superbowl Sunday. Mrs. Clausen, who had asked her husband to apply to be an organ donor, immediately brought the hand to Dr. Zajac. There she meets Patrick Wallingford, whom she asks for a child, whereupon it comes to the sexual act. At the end of the day, Patrick Wallingford has a hand richer and Doris Clausen is pregnant. Before the transplant, Doris Clausen made sure that she and her (at the time still unborn) child were given the right to visit. Patrick Wallingford, who has now fallen in love with Mrs. Clausen, agrees.

Over the course of the following year, Patrick Wallingford became a serious, compassionate newscaster . Even when his body sheds his hand again after a year, this change continues in him, although his connection with Mrs. Clausen no longer exists.


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