The Fourth Fisherman; How Three Fishermen Who Came Back from the Dead Changed My Life and Saved My Marriage by Joe Kissack is a book of two stories. First, it is the story of Kissack, a former Hollywood insider who enjoyed the good life; money, fame, homes, status, who, through constant pressure and stress to “keep up”, fell victim to alcohol and drug abuse. His life began to spiral out of control and eventually found himself in a rehab facility. Kissack turned his life around through faith in God. Next, it is the story of five fishermen who set out on a routine fishing trip from their home town of San Blas, Mexico. Their story made international headlines in 2006 when three of the five survived a nine month ordeal at sea when their small fishing boat ran out of gas and they began to drift. They were rescued over 5000 miles away from where they began, surviving off of rain water, raw fish, and sea turtles.
The Fourth Fisherman is written is parallel form. Each chapter alternates between the fishermen’s story and Kissack’s story; while at the same time dealing with the same life issue. This format goes along for about half the book. Upon hearing of the fishermen’s rescue, he feels a kindred spirit with them, citing his recent “rescue” by God. Kissack puts his entire life on hold, dives into his life savings, and heads to Mexico in order to meet these fishermen and hopefully, in film, tell their story of faith in God that sustained that them for nine months.
The Fourth Fisherman moves at a quick pace and is well written. It is an easy read and not a deep treatment of the subject of faith. To be honest and truthful, faith is used in general terms. There is no mention of the gospel and the forgiveness of sin. Only faith. The only statement in the book from Kissack that even comes close to a conversion statement is “I think…God has just come into my life” and “I think I was visited by God last night.” For a book that is centered around the concept of faith and trusting God, I just wish Kissack had pointed his readers to Christ, whose death on the cross makes a relationship God possible. At the end of the day, a feel-good book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
3 thoughts on “Book Review : The Fourth Fisherman”
So good to see you writing again, Pastor. I’ve missed your insights. And you inspire me to get back to my tasks as well.
Thank you David. I appreciate your kind words.
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