The Fourth K
|The Fourth K|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||479 pp (hardcover edition)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-394-56996-2 (hardcover edition)|
|Dewey Decimal||813/.54 20|
|LC Class||PS3566.U9 F68 1990|
|Preceded by||The Sicilian|
|Followed by||The Last Don|
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, 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. The novel's emphasis is on the characters. The reader learns about a character's background when he/she has to make a major decision. Critics have stated that, once the book has focused on a particular character, he/she is relegated to the background and never again returns to prominence.
Mario Puzo has stated: "The Fourth K was a [commercial] failure—but it was my most ambitious book." 
- "The Fourth K". The Official Mario Puzo Library. Retrieved 2008-07-07.