As I experiment with my Nook, I am finding places that are giving advance e-reader copies. I was sent an advance e-reader copy of 40 Days without Food: Divine Goodness to a Starving Soul by Russ Masterson.
My initial thoughts are not very positive as to the content of the book. What I DO like about Masterson’s effort is his honesty with his emotions and feelings all through the process. But it’s the process that gets me. It’s almost like he treated walking into a 40 day fast like Morgan Spurlock treated the process of eating McDonald’s food alone for 30 days. Granted, Masterson felt a prompting by the Spirit to do this, but he gives no other indication as to WHY he had to do this. Then, his daily thoughts, while good and somewhat challenging, drifted along a lot like Spurlock’s commentary in Super Size Me. But Spurlock had more substance to his meanderings.
Masterson’s work could have taken some wonderful turns into some incredible human struggles. Instead, they are Twitter posts that leave the reader waiting until the next time he thinks about a cheeseburger.
If you are looking for some good quick human insight into some sheer misery from 40 days of fasting, this is your book. If you are wanting to explore fasting, especially extended fasts, with some in-depth help, this is not where you need to read. His assumptions of the reasons for fasting are a bit off. (“In general, fasting is abstaining from food for a cause.”) Plus, he offers so little help (even after going through this process himself) it would be quite dangerous to attempt an extended fast after reading this book. (He offers less than three pages of practical helps for an extended fast and his assumptions are not entirely true.)
What he DOES hit on is the struggles we face as humans. He comes face to face with some ugly emotions and feelings. He walks through some of those things. Some of the powerful realities of fasting do indeed come through, even in his haphazard fashion of writing.
My concern is people would read this book and say, “Man! No way I am fasting.” That would be a shame. Fasting is such a needed discipline in our lives, we don’t need to be scared away from it!
The e-book is released July 1. I was sent the galley e-reader version from Tyndale with hopefully no obligation to give it a positive review.
I will keep working back through the book to find the nuggets. What I won’t find is some good practical helps and good solid advice FOR fasting, which is unfortunate.