The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Daniel Cooley

3.5 Stars

July 27, 2012

The Good: I chose this book in order to read about the Mexican fishermen who lived after spending a zillion days in their little boat out in the open sea. To the extent that the book covered these men and their families I enjoyed the book. But – this book isn’t primarily about the three fishermen who live through their amazing ordeal of being stranded in the ocean.

It’s primarily about the author, Joe Kissack, who calls himself “The Fourth Fisherman.” And that brings us to…

The Bad: I didn’t care about Joe. He tries to weave his story of being rich, feeling lost, finding God, coming to faith and finding his real home with the fishermen getting lost, finding God, coming to faith, and coming home. It didn’t work for me.

I wanted more information about the fishermen – Did they really find God? What did that look like? What were their homes like before they left on that fateful fishing trip? How did they change as a result of being lost at sea and finding God? What about the families of those who died at sea? Instead of that information, the author gives us something else. I got concerned when the surviving three fishermen’s story was over, but the book was only about half way through.

The rest of the book was about The Fourth Fisherman. I didn’t care about Joe. He wasn’t poor, he was rich. He wasn’t lost at sea, he was lost in self-absorption. Guess I should have read the title.

The Ugly. The author talks about the three fishermen and himself finding God, but what does that mean? There is talk about how much the Bible helped the guys on the boat, so I assume they weren’t finding Buddah, but it wasn’t much more specific than that. You may like that, but for me it was too vague. And then it gets ugly.

Joe believes he is led by God to do some things that make little sense. The things he “feels led” to do are hard on his finances, his wife, his kids, his employer, etc. And it all ends… empty.

I hope Joe lives to see his movie produced (about the fishermen). I think it could be a good one if he does just one thing. I hope he leaves the fourth fisherman out of it.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. They asked for honesty.