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The Fourth Fisherman: How Three Mexican Fishermen Who Came Back from the…
by Joe Kissack
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 030795627X, Hardcover)Q&A with Author Joe Kissack
Your story of rising to the top of your profession sounds like a dream come true, yet you were so unhappy. Where do you think things went wrong?
Foundationally, things went wrong very early in my life. In families where the father is misled-chances are that everyone in the family will be misled. Because of an “unsafe” childhood home, ruled by an alcoholic, I was born into and grew up in a constant state of survival. It created unconscious drive towards protecting myself and gaining any and everything for my subsistence. My professional life was just an extension of that mode of operating (except in our culture, especially in business, it is what is thought of as success). Often, a life on this course looks fine until it starts to come off the tracks. It seems that when things start to go wrong, they are going wrong in or very near the present moment. This is rarely the case, and the root cause of where things go wrong can be traced back to a time that seems disconnected to the present instance. Often we miss this because we don’t know what we don’t know.
Why do you think your wife, Carmen, stuck with you during your addictions and depression?
You grew up in an alcoholic house. How do you think your two daughters were affected by your addictions and what have you done differently since your sobriety?
People often say you have to hit rock bottom before you can change. Do you think your spiritual awakening would have happened if you didn’t hit that bottom?
How have your non-religious friends reacted to your newfound faith?
You use humor throughout the book. Tell us about how you reacted when your house was on fire and what that symbolized in your life.
At the time of our house fire I was in a heavily medicated state - doing all I could to keep from feeling the excruciating pain of my great sadness, the unending fear and doom of my daily existence, and loss of control of a life that was once looked great. When I pulled into the driveway to see the smoke billowing out of the windows I reacted with sort of a default of “do something”. I just needed to do something about it. My literal house was on fire but my metaphoric house (and everything in it) was on fire, too. It wasn’t just falling apart in disrepair and going to crumble down one brick at a time. It was going to flare up and incinerate everything in my life like an atomic explosion. Mowing the grass was my attempt at radiation treatment.
Your search for the fishermen started out badly. Did you ever consider leaving Mexico and why did you stay?
The media focused on some the questions around the fishermen’s survival and you address the issues head on in your book. Why do you think the doubts began quickly after the rescue?
You write about your relationship with your father, his alcoholism and you feeling that you could never be good enough. Did you ever resolve that conflict with him? And what advice, if any, do you give adult children who still struggle with unresolved issues with their parent or parents?
Recently I received a letter from a woman from Oregon who was reading The Fourth Fisherman over the phone with her father, who lived in California. It was serving as a conduit for a discussion between them about their own unresolved issues. I consider it a great honor and privilege that in some small way, this book was able to serve them. This is the very reason I do what I do.
Was the process of writing the book difficult?
However, there is something about it when it is working right, when you are feeling the flow of it all that it becomes almost effortless, and sometimes seems to write itself. I have often looked back at what I have written, after one of those moments where it just seemed to flow out of me, and wondered, “Did I write that? It’s not bad.” Then to have someone find meaning in it or that it blessed them in some way is, well, it is just the best feeling in the world.
Do you hope to make the book into a movie?
Do you plan to write another book?
You speak to different groups across the country. What is your message and what do you hope to accomplish?
I will go anywhere, anytime, to see any amount of people to share this story. I do it because I see people connecting to this story. Somehow, people are seeing their own stories in the midst of the fishermen and my story, and they are finding hope in the truth of who they are and like me, they have become the fourth fisherman.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:45 -0400)
Joe Kissack's life has been flipped inside out. In just a couple of years he goes from walking the red carpet in Hollywood to tripping through a fog of addiction, paralyzing anxiety, and jobless obscurity. Through a newfound faith, he knows he has been rescued from the brink of death, but for what purpose ? To go back to a life of business small talk and shallow relationships ? Halfway across the world, three fishermen find themselves lost and adrift in a tiny boat in the middle of the Pacific with no food or water. while their bodies begin to deteriorate after months at sea, their souls thrive as day by day they put their trust in God. Circumstances conspire against the men, but after nine months, a miracle occurs. When Joe hears about their inconceivable odyssey, he books a flight to Mexico. He dosen't know exactly why he goes, but he knows what it is like to be lost---so lost that there is no hope of rescue. He knows he has to find a way to tell the fishermen's incredible faith story. But Joe is wholly unprepared for the ways in which this grace-filled journey will trans form his own life, restore his marriage, and discover what it means to be "the Fourth fisherman."
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