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The Fourth K by Mario Puzo

The Fourth K
The Fourth K
Mario Puzo
Size fb2:
1522 kb
Size epub:
1854 kb
Random House Audio (June 27, 1993)
Other formats:
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Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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The Fourth K - Mario Puzo
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The Fourth K - Mario Puzo
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  • Jek
I first read this when I was in high school. I enjoyed it very much then, and would re-read it many times over the the next nearly two decades.

This book seems to be fairly polarizing, with a lot of people loving it and a lot of people hating it or at least being dismissive of it. It's not a perfect book, by any means, but I think the positives far outweigh the negatives.

I think Puzo tends to "overwrite" in spots, a criticism that I've levied towards Stephen King as well. Spending pages to write something that could be condensed greatly. This is most evident when dealing with the chapters dealing with The Oracle and the chapters dealing with David Jatney.

I just finished reading the book a few moments ago, the first time I've read it in about three years. A criticism I've seen is that characters show up and then disappear never to be heard from again. However that's not really true. There are characters that disappear for extended times, however with the exception of Cryder Cole, David Jatney's college friend who participated in the Assassination Games at BYU, everyone else in the book that is brought up plays a fairly major role in the book.

And even Cole, it's revealed what happened to him. He was never a major character, he was simply an associate of Jatney, who has a major role in the climax of the novel. I think pretty much every character that is featured in the major storylines were very instrumental in the plot and the winding road that the novel follows. As much as I wasn't really that interested in reading the Oracle's story (after years of reading the book, perhaps) I recognize his importance to the overall narrative.

Likewise, for the most part, I didn't care about David Jatney's story, however it's important because it gives you context and clarity for how he acts in the end.

I think this is a fantastic read and really exemplifies the quote "Power Corrupts. Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely".

You have a guy in Francis Xavier Kennedy who came into office a fairly idealistic, perhaps naive, politician, and evolves, due to tragedies outside of his control, into a monster, for lack of a better word. He leaves behind everything he ever believed in and eventually grows into a tyrannical dictator, all while believing he is doing the best thing for the country.

The sad thing is it is not an unimaginable scenario. Power corrupts and erodes integrity, many times.

The most iconic, and tragic character in this, for me anyway, was Christian Klee, Kennedy's right hand man and the Attorney General of the USA. A powerful man who is not above doing anything and everything he can think of to protect Kennedy, who he views as a brother. This means stepping way over the bounds of reason and legality and morality, all with not a scintilla of remorse or regret. Everything he's doing is justified, in his mind.

Even when he is confronted with his machinations in the end, he feels like he's been wronged, because in his mind he feels he was acting in the best interest of the country, and his friend, the President.

This is a book I think everyone should read. Very interesting and intriguing political thriller. Not a perfect book, by any means, but it is a highly entertaining read, one that lends itself to multiple read.
  • Nnulam
Read this book when it was published in 1990. I felt it was totally relevant when I first read it, totally relevant today! Amazing. I always felt Mario Puzo, after writing the Godfather, was connected to what was/is going on around us, that we had no idea of. This is the only book, and I read at least 6 a month, that I have read twice. I highly recommend it.
  • Keath
What a great imagination, well written and well paced. One of those rare books you (sort of) wish went on forever. Lots of plots and sub-plots but always easy to follow. It never drags. Read it if you get the chance.
  • Jube
Only a little disappointed but I did finish it and overall I enjoyed the read. I think it would make a very good movie with the right screen play and director.
  • Lightbinder
WOW! Book was recommended by a co-worker since I like alternative history works, and this didn't disappoint. The Godfather was a classic, but this should be made into a movie as well - it has all the elements needed.
  • Gela
I did like the book. It had a bit of a drag in spots and carried a few too many plot lines. Overall, a good read.
  • Yahm
I hadn't read Puzo in years. I happy to see his gift for excellent charactei development hasn't changed!
I'm a fan of Mario Puzo novels and this is one that is a page turner.