The Fourth K

The Fourth K

4.1 9
by Mario Puzo
     
 

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A PRESIDENTIAL DYNASTY. AN ARAB TERRORIST ATTACK. DEMOCRACY UNDER SIEGE. Mario Puzo envisioned it all in his eerily prescient 1991 novel, The Fourth K.

President Francis Xavier Kennedy is elected to office, in large part, thanks to the legacy of his forebears– good looks, privilege, wealth–and is the very embodiment of youthful optimism.

Overview

A PRESIDENTIAL DYNASTY. AN ARAB TERRORIST ATTACK. DEMOCRACY UNDER SIEGE. Mario Puzo envisioned it all in his eerily prescient 1991 novel, The Fourth K.

President Francis Xavier Kennedy is elected to office, in large part, thanks to the legacy of his forebears– good looks, privilege, wealth–and is the very embodiment of youthful optimism. Too soon, however, he is beaten down by the political process and, disabused of his ideals, he becomes a leader totally unlike what he has been before.

When his daughter becomes a pawn in a brutal terrorist plot, Kennedy, who has obsessively kept alive the memory of his uncles’ assassinations, activates all his power to retaliate in a series of violent measures. As the explosive events unfold, the world and those closest to him look on with both awe and horror.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A] CLASSIC PAGE-TURNER . . . THE FOURTH K HAS ALMOST EVERYTHING YOU LOOK FOR IN A THRILLER.”
The Washington Post

“FAST-PACED, SATISFYING . . . FINE ENTERTAINMENT.”
Los Angeles Times

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The latest from the author of The Godfather is a surefire success, a political novel that starts with a terrorist assassination of the pope on Easter Sunday, a deed that sends global aftershocks to jolt the power strongholds around the world, from the palace of the sultan of Sherhaben to the White House. The U.S. president is charismatic Francis Xavier Kennedy, scion of the famed and ill-fated clan. Still mourning his dead wife, Kennedy turns his energies to the country's betterment, forging an idealistic ``new social contract.'' But Kennedy is also a target of the terrorists, whose mentalities the novel deftly probes: Romeo, a ``Christ of Violence,'' needs to atone for his pampered upbringing; Yabril, a fierce Arab, privately thirsts to smite--like the angel Azazel--the president's daughter Theresa. After an appalling crime is committed, Kennedy coldly vows to bomb Sherhaben off the map, despite the American fortunes invested there. His cabinet and the wily, aged members of the Socrates Club--who control grain, real estate, oil, the media and Congress--plot to impeach him. Random acts of violence by young Americans (e.g., naive MIT scientists who plant a mini-atom bomb in Manhattan) enliven and multiply the dangers. Within the male power hierarchy, capable women like vice-president Helen Du Pray calculate their moves. Astute characterizations, vivid drama and Puzo's shrewd analyses of the paradoxes of evil detonate a top-notch thriller. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345476739
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/23/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
272,386
Product dimensions:
4.24(w) x 6.86(h) x 1.31(d)

Read an Excerpt

A PRESIDENTIAL DYNASTY. AN ARAB TERRORIST ATTACK. DEMOCRACY UNDER SIEGE. Mario Puzo envisioned it all in his eerily prescient 1991 novel, The Fourth K.

President Francis Xavier Kennedy is elected to office, in large part, thanks to the legacy of his forebears–good looks, privilege, wealth–and is the very embodiment of youthful optimism. Too soon, however, he is beaten down by the political process and, disabused of his ideals, he becomes a leader totally unlike what he has been before.

When his daughter becomes a pawn in a brutal terrorist plot, Kennedy, who has obsessively kept alive the memory of his uncles’ assassinations, activates all his power to retaliate in a series of violent measures. As the explosive events unfold, the world and those closest to him look on with both awe and horror.

Meet the Author

MARIO PUZO was born in New York and, following military service in World War II, attended New York’s New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His best-known novel, The Godfather, was preceded by two critically acclaimed novels, The Dark Arena and The Fortunate Pilgrim. In 1978, he published Fools Die, followed by The Sicilian, The Fourth K, The Last Don, Omerta, and The Family. Mario Puzo has also written several screenplays, including Earthquake, Superman, and all three Godfather movies, for which he received two Academy Awards. He died in July 1999 at his home on Long Island, New York, at the age of seventy-eight.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
October 15, 1920
Date of Death:
July 2, 1999
Place of Birth:
New York City
Place of Death:
Bay Shore, Long Island
Education:
Attended New York City's New School for Social Research and Columbia University

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Fourth K 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Very interesting and fast paced.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In a post 9/11 world, this book is a must read. Puzo, well known for his Mafia books, the most famous being the Godfather, gives the political suspense novel a shot. He does exceedingly well. He portrays the current state of our world today precisely,(he published the book in 89) and in doing so also asks some very thought provoking, and insightful questions. The main protagonist in the story is Francis Kennedy, a young, ambitious member of the famous family, and he is president of the USA in the book. The story is very invidious at times, giving you a sense of dread of what is about to happen. Puzo underlying theme throughout the story is of power, and what it does to a person. Kennedy, who throughout the story is portrayed as a very astute and benign person, almost destroys his country, the world, and becomes the first American dictator not because he is evil, but because of his good intentions, and the power available to him. However, I gave this a 4 star rating since I didn¿t like the way Puzo structured the novel, this being its major shortcoming. In his rush to present a vivid, exciting read, Puzo puts way too many plots and subplots into it, without giving each its deserved focus. Even though conclusions to each are shown, the novel is too short to actually give each its deserved attention. Why most Clancy novels are over a thousand pages, I guess. Overall, highly recommended, and a good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent.... the best book I've read in quite a while. I have read it several times, I'd read it again, but I can't get my friends to return it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
never let it be said that mr. Puzo can only write about the mafia!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Fourth K is a gripping story of Presidential disaster that proves to be a Puzo classic even though it doesn't follow Puzo's classic Mafia storyline. This book is a quick read that will engulf any Puzo fan with a flare for Politics and its often darker dimension.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading and loving The Godfather, I was interested to check out another book by this author. Although the story was interesting and moved quickly, the storyline was just too unbelievable for my taste. Terrorism angle was interesting but politics presented was over the top. Some interesting parallels with Obama though in presidential overreach.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always, Mario Puzo delivers a great book with interesting characters and a deep story about politics and the Gods of the government.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago