Anytime a musician breaks away from music and dives into the literary world, it’s always a toss up. At least to me. Sometimes the books come out great and you get to learn more about your favorite artists. And other times it’s like…um, no I really didn’t need to know that. Too much information! Now my opinion of them is completely screwed. Believe me, it’s happened. But in this case, Manafest’s Fighter has not only not skewed my opinion of him, but has raised my level of respect for him. Not just as a musician, but as a person, husband, artist, and fellow Christian.
Fighter takes the reader through an introduction into the life of Chris Greenwood (aka Manafest), starting out with the tragic loss of his father to suicide when he was only five years old. From there it gives a brief look at his life growing up, being raised by a single mother, struggling in school and to find himself. It’s touching, and relatable on multiple levels.
The next few chapters take you through “Five Keys To Conquering Fear and Reaching Your Dreams”. These include Courage, Perseverance, A Fighter’s Mind Set, Discipline, and Willpower. Each chapter takes you through a real-life segment of Manafest’s life and how it relates to the topic. I found these stories extremely interesting. Most of them related to his adult life, including things like breaking into the music industry, choosing to quit his day job to pursue his dreams, life on the road when touring and his spiritual walk with God.
At the end of each of these chapters there is a section called Action Steps where Manafest summarizes the main point of the chapter and gives the reader a little homework assignment that relates. There’s even room for the reader to write their answers right in the book. It’s meant to get you thinking and trying to apply what you’re reading to your own life.
I really love the way he set this book up. The steps flow in order, building the reader up to have an overall positive perspective on life at the end. It’s about being active in your life, not passive. This book challenges you to keep going and to not give up when setbacks come and to trust in God every step of the way. I left this book with a different outlook on a lot of things, and for that I am thankful.
The physical copy of this book is really something to have. It’s filled with pictures and illustrations and, as stated before, there’s room to write in it at the end of the chapters and a whole page dedicated for you to write down your own life goals and the steps you’ll take to reach them at the end. It’s only 153 pages long and you’ll zoom through it before you know it. It’s quick paced, and definitely held my interest. I learned a lot, I think, not only about positive/active ways to reach my goals, but a lot about the music industry and being a self-promoter.
As a last note, I was very excited to see some other people I know in the book. Throughout, Manafest quotes a lot of people and Scripture, all of which I enjoyed. But out of those I was very pleasantly surprised to see a quote from Chester Bennington, one of my favorite musicians and a story that included one of my most favorite people in the whole world, Trevor McNevan from Thousand Foot Krutch. I knew from awhile ago that Trevor had something to do with helping Manafest get signed to the record label, but I had no idea how the story actually went till I read it in the book. It wasn’t AT ALL what I was expecting, and was probably one of the most heart-wrenching stories in there. Manafest was crying and I wanted to cry right along with him.
Fighter gets five out of five stars. It was fast paced, incredibly personal, and uplifting and inspirational to the point that I’ve taken his words to heart. If you haven’t checked out his book, look it up on Amazon or go to http://www.manafest.ca/ and check out Fighter and some awesome music while you’re there!