Montese Crandall is a downtrodden writer whose rare collection of baseball cards won't sustain him, financially or emotionally, through the grave illness of his wife. Luckily, he swindles himself a job churning out a novelization of the 2025 remake of a 1963 horror film, The Crawling Hand. Crandall tells therein of the United States, in a bid to regain global eminence, launching at last its doomed manned mission to Mars. Three space pods with nine Americans on board travel three months, expecting to spend three years as the planet's first colonists. When a secret mission to retrieve a flesh-eating bacterium for use in bio-warfare is uncovered, mayhem ensues.Only a lonely human arm (missing its middle finger) returns to earth, crash-landing in the Arizona desert. The arm may hold the secret to reanimation or it may simply be an infectious killing machine. It's crawl through the heartbroken wasteland of civilization is recorded in this stunningly inventive, sometimes hilarious, monumental novel.
A bravura and willfully bizarre literary performance from Rick Moody (THE ICE STORM), THE FOUR FINGERS OF DEATH is a metafictional mash-up of genres, styles, and ideas with echoes of Pynchon, Vonnegut, and David Foster Wallace. Set in a surreal sci-fi future circa 2025, the book opens with a hack writer who specializes in boiling epic works down to single sentences. This reputation for brevity seems ill-founded when he begins to write a long-winded novelization of a remake of the 1963 B-movie, THE CRAWLING HAND. This novelization becomes the bulk of Moody's sprawling comic novel, a far-fetched tale of an astronaut's severed but still-living arm that crawls across a surreal American landscape. Full of conspiracies, side-plots, and clever riffs on contemporary culture, THE FOUR FINGERS OF DEATH shows Moody at his most playful and absurd.
- Juvenile Fiction, Fiction + Literature Themes, Science Fiction + Fantasy
- Types of Characters, Business + Careers + Occupations, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Humorous Fiction
- Back Bay Books
- July 13, 2011
- July 13, 2011
- Rick Moody