Non-Fiction Book Review | “The Disconnected Man” by Jim Turner

Posted Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, starting with FaithWords which is their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been wicked happy I can review for their imprints Grand Central Publishing, FaithWords & Center Street.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Disconnected Man” direct from the publisher FaithWords (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

What drew me into reading this story:

I am sure like most families, the subject of this book is going to ring true of the men you’ve known all of your life – not all of them, but the ones who struggle with connecting emotionally and being emotionally vulnerable to how they connect to others. At least, this is true of my family. When I read the premise of this memoir which is written like a self-help guide for men (and women who have disconnected men in their lives) I had a suspicion it was a well-timed release I ought to be reading straight-away! And, I did begin it within a short period of time of receiving it – had I not been as afflicted by health issues the latter half of 2017, I might have honestly had the chance to share my thoughts on this story before the close of December!

What was very empowering about the authentic nature of the voice inside the book is how openly raw the writer is sharing his story about disconnecting. There was only one small fraction of the book I didn’t feel fit as well with the purpose behind it (which I outlined below my review) – as it seemed to take away from the momentum which began very early on in the Introduction – yet even with this small wrinkle, the joy for me was reading a book which was so incredibly clarifying about a quite maddening reality so many of us face whilst trying to understand why some of us disconnect whilst the rest of us are permanently connected.

I highly encourage everyone who feels they can relate to the context of this memoir to take a leap of faith and read it. It might not only change your perspective about the foundational issues affecting this condition of being emotionally distant from others but it strikes the heart of the reader for endeavouring to talk openly about a subject not many would feel comfortable broaching in private much less in such a public forum of discussion. I applaud the author for taking a bold step and sharing his story to better enable all of us to best understand those who cannot share a part of themselves as openly as the rest of us.

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Non-Fiction Book Review | “The Disconnected Man” by Jim TurnerThe Disconnected Man
Subtitle: breaking down walls and restoring intimacy with him
by Jim Turner
Source: Direct from Publisher

THE DISCONNECTED MAN tracks the journey of one man's surprise discovery of his own disconnectedness and his desire to help other men, and the women who love them, before it is too late.

Disconnected men hide out in plain view: in our churches, in our families and in our communities. They are competent, capable men who quietly 'do their duty' and attract little attention. They are fairly happy guys, relatively unemotional and capable of carrying heavy loads of responsibility, but are very difficult to get to know beyond superficial friendship. A closer examination inside their marriages reveals a desert strewn with emotionally emaciated spouses. While their competence may build the church, organize a group, or run a company, they haven't the slightest notion how to connect intimately with those they love. Their wives suffer, usually in silence, while the church and culture press past this couple secretly falling apart.

Jim Turner was that disconnected man going about his life, happily fulfilling his duty within his own self-protective bubble, until God suddenly burst it in a most horrific way. His story starts when that devastation left him clinging precariously to the remaining shreds of his broken marriage. Jim longs to share with other disconnected men what he learned through that ordeal, to help them understand their disobedience and show how they can achieve real connection with those they love.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781478975649

Also by this author: Author Q&A (The Disconnected Man)

Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Self-Improvement & Self-Actualisation, Spirituality & Metaphysics


Published by FaithWords

on 12th December, 2017

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 160

Published by: FaithWords (@FaithWords)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #NonFiction #SelfHelp & #TheDisconnectedMan

About Jim Turner

Jim Turner

Jim Turner has been in youth or pastoral ministry for over twenty-five years and has personally experienced the pain and damage caused by disconnection. He is divorced as a direct result of his former disconnection, father of four incredible young adults, and now remarried and living in the delight of being truly connected with his wife. He has individually fought the battle to overcome disconnection and has entered into rich and fruitful relationships that reflect the commands of Christ for intimacy with Him and His followers. He "gets it" now and wants everyone else to join him!

Jim is also the author of SO-CALLED CHRISTIAN, and coauthor of the discipleme discipleship workbooks (and soon to be released app) based on the need for disciple leaders to develop connected relationships with disciples rather than simply teaching them lessons.

Jim, his wife Tanya, and their blended family of ten children (only seven still at home!) live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. They enjoy music, theater, beach trips, great food, entertaining friends and family, and most of all being together!

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My Review of the disconnected man:

This.

Exactly *this!* paragraph is precisely why I wanted to read this book!

I suspect you know. As soon as you heard the title, it probably rang a bell for you, or sparked a memory, or touched the part of you that has always sought a definition – a definition for the man who leaves your mind in a conundrum when you try to figure out why he is the way he is.

-quoted from “The Disconnected Man” with permission of the publisher

I definitely felt a resonance with what Mr Turner was sharing on pages xii and xiii – especially in regards to how to designate a particular sketch of character of the disconnected man you’ve known in your life or the disconnected men you’ve known. His accuracy is brilliant but so too, is his intuitive insight – sharing not only the causal observations everyone can observe about these men (most of whom fail to see their true character or understand their personality; because they have limited data to process about them) but the truer heart of who these men are at their core. Of the part of themselves they are keeping hidden whilst the people round them who care about them are left standing confused and questioning did I misunderstand or do something wrong?

I literally had at least ten quotes I could have shared in this review from the Introduction – but I will attempt to limit myself to sharing only one of them because it’s the heart of the truth for what has affected me the most living with disconnected men:

One of the most difficult barriers to believing that you are important to your disconnected man is that you don’t see it or feel it from him. He has a way of looking through you. When you look into his eyes, you don’t see yourself. It’s sort of blank in there. There’s no swirl of emotion, no tide of understanding, no link with your heart, and no tangible reaction to your outreach. It’s discouraging, perhaps devastating, to experience this complete lack of connection. But did you know that he thinks he’s connecting? He would actually be surprised and a bit confused if he could see your frustration. I mean, if he could see your real frustration. He thinks your frustration is about something completely unrelated to what’s actually bothering you.

-quote from “The Disconnected Man” with permission of the publisher

I was nearly misty eyed reading this passage because it is the truth about how I’ve felt – over and over again – because I never understood if it was simply his ADHD causing the disconnection; his chronic issues with ‘selective hearing’ (or what I refer to as ‘selective listening’) or if it were something more! How are you to know!? We’re all trying to process how we interpret our lives… every moment of everyday, sometimes that’s exhausting in of itself – however, to re-attach trying to interpret how someone close to you is not being able to explain how their thinking/feeling/reacting is not just frustrating it’s damn exhausting! (pardon my French, but it’s TRUTH)

The hardest part is I was raised to best understand ‘myself’ – of learning to look inward and outward, of sorting out my personal quirks from my strengths and weaknesses, of understanding my intuition to understanding my emotional processing and how I see/understand/interpret my world. It comes second nature to re-examine something of myself which needs working on. It’s not easy to take creative criticism or suggestions from others who see something before I see it myself, but it’s part of life. If your family or best friend can’t nudge you about something you need to work on – who could? However, part of what fuelled me to better understand my processes was growing up with learning difficulties (mostly stemming out of being Dyslexic with unclassified ADHD) – just to understand speech patterns, written context of stories and how to understand language both directly and indirectly was a unique part of my early childhood years – from that point forward, self-study and self-directing observational research about who I am and what forms my internal impressions on the outside world began in earnest. When you feel disconnected by lagging behind educationally, you self-grow in the adaptive habits of synthesising of how to evolve through your own rudimentary quirky path towards compensating for your misconnections. In fact, you compensate to the point of overly making up the gaps in where you fall outside the ledgers.

Thus, what has been most confounding is having men in your family where they don’t take the same joy in self-evaluation or self-examination of themselves. To work through how they process and internalise their worlds and to better understand how they think/feel/synthesis.

Where Mr Turner noted these men do not see your side of the conversation or your end of the observation of a conversation – where your feeling frustrated because there is a lack of emotional response (for ANY topic/subject broached) is bang-on accurate! Sometimes you gather the disconnected man can only process his end of things – of seeing only how he views his side of the conversation without thinking part of what is wrong is what is absent from how he shares himself to you. I applaud Mr Turner for finding a way not to only merge his experience into this book but to find a way to connect the threads of what is happening within every man who is living a disconnected life. His ways of breaking down the codes of what is happening inside the men is startling accurate but it’s also how he’s etching out a rounded observational study on ‘why’ this is happening – or rather, of what is going on inside the men from a fundamental layer of insight is something to applaud because it gives those of us on the other side something to latch onto which in effect resolves the unresolvable concern we might never fully understand our disconnected men.

Ooh, my goodness – yes! I was positively gobsmacked reading this section – how could Mr Turner know precisely what I’ve contemplated over this very issue? Of trying to piece together what is wrong with the fragments I’ve been able to hear or intuit out of conversations? This paragraph in connection to the last one I shared is EXACTLY what it feels like when you have disconnected men in your life:

If he were aware of that inner world, the disconnected man would probably be mortified that it even exists and that you want to go there. He’s not like you. You are capable of going to places he doesn’t know about. The reality is that you live in a foreign land of feelings and emotions and connection that he doesn’t know he’s supposed to be a part of. You move in and out of relational realities that are veiled to him. You feel. You identify. You share. You know depression. You know elation. You connect deeply. You intuit friendship. You let love fill you up. You grieve. You are naturally touched by a thousand relational realities. The disconnected man is not. At least not in the same way you are.

-quoted from “The Disconnected Man” with permission of the publisher.

The humbling truths coming out of this Introduction are a blessing – they truly are because they give a pointed interpretation of what is going on inside the mind of a disconnected man. I could relate to so much of what was being shared, I could see invisible highlighter traces throughout the text! Mr Turner has a way of sharing keen observational data intermixed with personal study to give an outlay of the intricacies of how a mind of someone who fits this description sees his internal world. The clarity of insight is staggering too – it parlays on a lot of what I have personally observed as well – how these men are high functioning in their work lives, highly attached to their families but they do not have a lot of outside the family connections – of personal friends or acquaintances; they feel they are ‘people oriented’ but they lack insight into how to draw people to them without having the opposite effect. People feel repelled because they can’t get a read on them – they don’t fully understand where they stand on any one particular subject nor do they feel they’ve broached anything other than suppletities or superficial conversational openings which never lead to a full discussion. In other words, you have to have patience to get to the heart of who these men are but sometimes, as they age, they bottle up more of themselves than they did previously – leading the women in the family to feel cut off and disconnected.

I also agree – the disconnected men in my family were not aware they were being relationally obtuse! They felt they were connecting and being actively social – in sharing an equal amount of something you’ve shared yourself without realising they had only shared half of what was needed to have a fulfilling conversation. At times, not even half – only a partial revelation or they leave a conversation half finished or shift topics altogether leaving you feeling muddled and confused yourself.

Very insightful saying men who are disconnected are unaware of needing to making a more tangible emotional connection to everyone in their lives. I find them very caring and dedicated to those in their inner circle – in fact, most if not all of the description on behalf of Mr Turner is identical to my own experiences with these men. The sad bit is really – they don’t fully understand the scope of how hurtful their disconnection is to those who love them.

Whoa. It’s like reading a psychological profile of intuitive understanding on behalf of the men in your life who have the same default setting as Mr Turner! As soon as I entered Chapter 1 – right there in the first opening paragraph is the root of what I felt was the key issue for the men in my family, too! They shy away from anything which negatively affects them or rather, any negativity which enters into their life’s path – they disentangle themselves from connecting to that moment. The negative energy in their life effectively re-routes their mind to re-assert itself elsewhere, to limit the connecting routes to that emotional experience and to compensate by not acknowledging it in full or in part afterwards. In other words – full erasure of experiencing it at all.

Whilst I was reading the passages about how Mr Turner and his ex-wife rooted out the reasons why they had become disconnected to each other – the story shifted from what I could find traction of similarity out of my own experience and his – this was a different trajectory towards the same end result. I found it compelling how raw and honest he felt comfortable sharing with his audience – to dig back into the fragments of what drew him and his wife apart – the heartache of what she shared and of how her feelings of his inability to connect to her shattered her resolve to stay in their marriage. It’s jarring to read because you can sympathise with both of them – of understanding more of his side of things through what what has been discussed thus far along and on her end of it, how maddening it was to be in her shoes trying to find a reason to stay by his side.

Most of Chapter Four I couldn’t find resonating with me either – mostly, as he is quick to stipulate – everyone’s journey with a disconnected man is individually unique. There are moments of clarity within this text and then, there is Mr Tuner’s advice based on his own insight of his experience of reconnecting his emotional heart. In this, I moved in and out of the chapters – finding some merit of understanding my own disconnected men or seeing stark differences therein. Again, it’s as individually insightful per each person you know in your life who fits the description.

Yes! As Mr Turner was describing key differences between responses within an emotional mind and a strictly intellectual mind – of having the emotions distanced from the intellectual analysis of the event itself, I found a thread of enlightenment – as this is how I would best describe the issue with my disconnected men! They take a different approach of how to synthesis their hours – of how they interpret what is happening round them and to them – they sometimes can take emotion out of *everything!* as unconstructive as that is for others, they don’t like to view everything through their emotional responses – it’s either too complicated or too cluttering to manage. This I understand as it’s what I’ve observed!

I also agreed with what he was saying about how disconnected men seek to establish what they envision to be a healthy and communicative relationship with those in their inner sphere – their families, their children, their friends – except to say, they consistently hold back – it’s almost automatic – they don’t even realise they are doing it, as to them, it’s simply a component of who they’ve been all along in their life. As I was reading about how these men view how to approach their lives, some of the things he was broaching into the topic were observable in my own life; others were less so, as each of the men who are afflicted with this kind of disconnection have their own quirks!

Very true – how he wisely talked about how women are invested in their relationships – they want to understand their loved ones’ point of view inasmuch as they want to feel what they have to share is being honestly listened to without having the feeling whatever they say is irrelevant to the listener; almost as if the person’s inability to listen is part of the issue at hand. You could call this a quirk, or you could label it what doctors love to dismiss it as “selective hearing” to which doesn’t have the best resolution attached to it! It simply means men like to dismiss what they feel is not relevant to hold onto even if it happens to be important to those around them. This is another form of disconnecting which unfortunately becomes a routine and a key vexation if your on the receiving end of this person’s opting out behaviour.

Where Mr Turner excels in his narrative to reach out to both the men who are living disconnected lives and the women who are beside them is through showing his own journey to become re-connected. There are passages in the book which I glossed over due to how I felt they were distracting from the main thread of his message (see below for my notes about this) but other times, I felt he pulled everything together quite well. He does have a more conservative approach to seeking help and advice – however, I was thankful he mentioned all avenues to seek out should be advisable if it aides the person in question. I was thinking about a friend of mine from high school who I had wished had had an open-minded family in this regard and had allowed her to seek professional help outside the church; as in her case, I saw the traditional route of keeping it ‘in-house’ so to speak worked against her in regards to long-term recovery and help.

This is a beautiful primer for women who are frustrated with the men in their lives who are not translating their emotions into their conversations and are not being ‘present’ in their lives in an emotionally connectable way. For men, I think it might take them a bit longer to accept the message and to consider the implications – of how staying disconnected truly isn’t advantageous to them because it allows them to live superficially removed from the people who are important in their lives.

As I was reading the story about Mr Turner, I was cross-comparing his journey with those men in my lives I know this condition relates to directly. There are commonalities and there are differences as everyone is individually unique unto themselves and of course, on a different path from one another as well. What was pivotal and insightful is how he presented the case for disconnection becoming the mainstay in our society and how there are more disconnected men than there are connected men.

Fly in the Ointment: Content Note:

The only issue I had within the context of the book itself were the passages that felt a bit like he was trying to drive home his points a bit harder than necessary. My favourite parts of his story is when he was relating to us about what he’s learnt and what he’s observed on his journey – however, there is a deviation from the middle to the end of the chapters where it becomes a bit too bogged down in Biblical referencing. I recognise this was written by a minister who wanted to cross-reference his message back to the text of the Bible but some of this felt bogged down a bit taking us away from his main thread of narrative about how his own disconnection and re-connection is what inspired his pursuit of sharing the story overall.

There were some key points which were aptly fused to his message but then, there were a lot of passages re-directing back and forth where I felt part of what he wanted to share became a bit too weighed down to re-justify how his interpretations and understandings on the subject could be re-referenced back to the Bible. I didn’t feel he needed to do this quite to this extent.

On the inspirational writing style of jim turner:

Mr Turner did not disappoint me with his frank and earnest approach to piecing together this condition of being emotionally removed from all aspects of a lived life – except to say, no one is keenly that far removed from their experiences – it’s simply a matter of how each of us approaches how to process our experiences. Of how we shape our emotional reactions and if we choose to share those bits of ourselves with others – there are layers of vulnerability not everyone is comfortable with revealling to the outside world – this in effect is one cause of disconnection.

At the end of Chapter Two is a beautiful pause of thought in how to approach the men who are disconnected in your own life. From my own experiences – leading into a conversations head-on about something that is affecting a loved one’s life hasn’t been the best approach to be honest! If anything, it’s been the wrong way round completely! I take after my Mum and the rest of the women in my family – we like a more direct approach – of understanding what is going on and how we can focus our energies on either fixing it or repairing it – depending on what it is exactly that is affecting us. We’d rather know what we can ‘do’ rather than sit and wait to see how things will resolve without taking action. This isn’t just physical action – it’s also through our own walk in prayer and our own conversations with God. Of seeking out our internal wellness even if we’re working on a physical bout of unwellness – yet, I’ve noted that not everyone likes to know exactly what is wrong or how something they are afflicted with actually has a definition and ‘name’. Some take the longer approach to resolving whatever it is they are conflicted with and that in of itself is also (at times) frustrating for others in the family.

This time round, I’ll try it through the methods outlined by Mr Turner – after all, the direct route has already failed how many times!? Oy vie. No fear of me giving the book to my disconnected men – they aren’t exactly into reading about such things but rather work better through intervention and/or helpful conversations of communicating how they can better themselves – that is, if and when they are ready to have such discussions. Again, I’m taking the author’s advice! You’ll have to read this book yourself to fully understand what that means but I truly believe he’s right about how to approach this road block in the emotional lives of disconnected men!

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This book review is courtesy of:

FaithWords

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!

Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Disconnected Man”, book synopsis, author photograph of Jim Turner and author biography were all provided by the publisher Hachette Book Group Inc. via their Bloggers Portal and used with permission. The quotations from the text of “The Disconnected Man” were chosen by Jorie and are being used with the permission of the publisher. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Vimeo Intro by Author was embedded due to codes provided by Vimeo. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Christianity, FaithWords, Family Life, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Spirituality & Metaphysics




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2 responses to “Non-Fiction Book Review | “The Disconnected Man” by Jim Turner

    • Thank you, Jessica!

      I appreciate your feedback on this one – as it truly hit home for me to better understand the men in my family. However, after I posted my thoughts I thought about it more and realised one of my grandmothers fit this description of staying emotionally removed. This is why I liked how Jim Turner was breaking down the subject and mentioning this isn’t strictly something which afflicts men but can affect women as well. I hope you enjoy reading this and I’m thankful I helped you find it.

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