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Saved from Drowning

The Fourth Fisherman by Joe Kissack is a story about three Mexican fisherman who were saved at sea alongside the unraveling of Joe's life surrounding the big screen. What I enjoyed about the story was here were three fisherman scattered at sea with no hope and yet they held on to faith in God, the Bible and the desire that they would be found in due time. Although the story focuses on the plight, struggle and finally rescue of the three fisherman, the story of Joe Kissack intertwines throughout the book. Producing such shows as Seinfeld and Texas Walker, Joe had it all including a beautiful wife and family, the luxury of a home and a Porsche. Yet, in his struggle with painkillers and prescription drugs, he was left feeling hollow as a shell.

The story of the three Mexican fisherman in quite extraordinary in that they were swept off thousands of miles from where they started and saw before their eyes two of their men die. Furthermore, they drank turtle blood, drank salt water and became sick, and eventually were left with emaciated bodies and nothing to cling to except their hope in God. What was amazing about their story is that they shunned the media in many ways after they were rescued because they were just ordinary men trying to survive. On returning from their blood wrenched time at sea, one of the men Jesus, sought very hard to conceal who he was from Joe and those who were strangers. In one sense, you can understand their unwillingness to make a name for themselves because they came from humble means and didn't seek to become celebrities on account of their struggle at sea.

I resonate with another reviewer of this book that commented that Joe's excursions to Mexico and abroad when his wife was hurting and needing help did not connect with his new found faith. Furthermore, the continual choice to dwindle their money by his work led to much strain and frustration. One can only see that Joe's wife was a woman who persevered with her husband even in the case of terrible choices. Yet, I think that the witness of Joe's brokenness in the story was not meant to take the blame off of his own responsibility but rather to bear witness that every dream or desire comes with a cost.

I was not expecting this book to be real interesting when I requested it for review, but it shattered my expectations as I quickly read through it in two days. For those wanting to get a better picture at what happened to the three Mexican fisherman and their faith in God, this book is a good resource. I do think this should have been two stories, but in the end I think Joe learned what real faith is all about in the lives of these fisherman.

Much thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomah for the review copy of this book in exchange for review.


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