Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Fourth Hand by John Irving

The Fourth Hand The Fourth Hand by John Irving

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
First book I've read by this guy. It is funny and stuff, but I guess I did not connect with the characters or the story all that much. I feel like that's somewhat intentional? The voice of the narrator is always intruding, half-bemused, in a way that lets us know not to take any of this too seriously. Which to me at least had the effect of sort of lowering the stakes in a way that was not necessarily desirable.

My other impression was that as a media satire, the book's 1999 vision of cable news as "the disaster channel" is pretty far-removed from the all-partisan-all-the-time cable environment of today. That's not really the book's fault, necessarily. But it does have less bite today.

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