The Fourth Fisherman - Three Books in One,
This review is from: The Fourth Fisherman (Paperback)Joe Kissack crams into a couple hundred pages what many authors can't fit into volumes. The Fourth Fisherman is the story of a group of Mexican fishermen lost at sea for nearly a year. It's the story of a successful television executive (the author) lost in his own self-absorption for many years. And it's the story of a born-again Christian father and husband (again, the author) embarking on a journey he didn't understand but for a God he grew to fully trust.
Perfectly intertwined in the first two-thirds of the book are the eerily paralleled stories of the fishermen facing physical death on the wide open Pacific and the author facing spiritual death in the depths of his own flooding world.
When Kissack gives his life over to God, it's almost as if God is testing his new servant's faith by leading him on an improbable quest to meet the surviving fishermen. Why? Kissack isn't entirely sure. He is, quite simply, following his heart according to what he feels God is leading him to do. Isn't that what we all should do?
The story of the fishermen would be a great book in itself. Kissack's story - his rise to wealth and power in television, his fall at the hands of alcohol and prescription medication, and his miraculous transformation from a self-serving man of the world to an obedient servant of God - would be worthy of its own shelf in the inspirational book section. And Kissack's life-threatening, life-altering expedition in search of the true story of the lost-and-found fishermen would be an excellent stand-alone page turner.
Put it all together and you have a remarkable read, surprisingly quick despite the depth of content.
The one flaw is the author's perspective on money. He writes candidly about the great wealth he'd accumulated in his television career and the material goods it provided. He admits to falsely believing the money and spoils lead to a sense of status and accomplishment, but he laments about dipping into his 401K and having to sell off his wife's Lexus because of the expenses incurred tracking down the fishermen in Mexico.
Most average Americans don't have luxury cars at their disposal to sell off in a financial "crunch" and many of us lack substantive funds in our 401Ks to legitimately cover multiple years of travel without a steady paycheck. It's hard to garner the sympathy for which Kissack pleads because of his financial "crisis" since most of us have never been in the state of financial security he experienced in his most successful business ventures.
That relatively minor flaw aside, The Fourth Fisherman is an uplifting coming-of-age adventure, a social rise, fall, and rise again tale, a spiritual awakening, and a historical biography and autobiography rolled into one. It's definitely worth a read.
* I received an advance copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. In no way was my honest review given under any persuasion from the publisher. *