Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World

Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World

An inspiring personal story of redemption, second chances, and the transformative power within us all, from the founder and CEO of the nonprofit charity: water. At 28 years old, Scott Harrison had it all. A top nightclub promoter in New York City, his life was an endless cycle of drugs, booze, models--repeat. But 10 years in, desperately unhappy and morally bankrupt, he as...

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Title:Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World
Author:Scott Harrison
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Edition Language:English

Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World Reviews

  • Samuel Wood

    I received an early copy from Crown via my graduate program.

    Scott's story is tremendous and amazing. While reading it, there were times where I felt a presence come over me, as if something unseen resonated with what I was reading. Please buy this book when it's released in October.

  • Cat W.

    So I didn't get this book for free, and I didn't pay for it. Got it at the public library, so here is an unbiased review. I love a good memoir, and this reads like one, albeit quite long. However, it's almost more of a memoir of charity: water than it is of its founder. I LOVE the podcast "How I Built This" with Guy Roz, in which he interviews founders of very successful companies and talks to them about how they built their brand. This was like reading a very extensive How I Built This intervie

    So I didn't get this book for free, and I didn't pay for it. Got it at the public library, so here is an unbiased review. I love a good memoir, and this reads like one, albeit quite long. However, it's almost more of a memoir of charity: water than it is of its founder. I LOVE the podcast "How I Built This" with Guy Roz, in which he interviews founders of very successful companies and talks to them about how they built their brand. This was like reading a very extensive How I Built This interview, with the ups and downs of starting something new and keeping it going.

    I enjoyed it, and I enjoyed getting to know the founder more. He gave just the right amount of detail to his early life and the lead-up to founding the charity. I think he explained the challenges in bringing clean water to places very well, and I found myself rejoicing in their successes. The whole book could be considered a 'pitch' to donate to the charity, but I never felt pushed by the author. I enjoyed the pictures of the people he was talking about, and I even went online to the special link/passcode to see more at the end.

  • Lindsay Hickman

    I very rarely give five stars to any book, but this one checked all the right boxes for me. If you are not familiar with charity:water and Scott Harrison’s story he spends about the first third of the book giving a great history. One learns about his childhood, his family, life events that shaped him and how he ended up being a nightclub promoter in New York. I thought this section was fascinating because I’ve heard Harrison speak before, but never in such detail. The next part of the book is ho

    I very rarely give five stars to any book, but this one checked all the right boxes for me. If you are not familiar with charity:water and Scott Harrison’s story he spends about the first third of the book giving a great history. One learns about his childhood, his family, life events that shaped him and how he ended up being a nightclub promoter in New York. I thought this section was fascinating because I’ve heard Harrison speak before, but never in such detail. The next part of the book is how he stumbled into founding one of the most unique charities in the world. I specifically enjoyed learning about his time with Mercy Ships and how that really shaped his life. (I won’t give anything away but this might be my favorite part of the book. The details, descriptions and places he goes are wonderfully described, and the stories pull on your heart strings.)

    Finally the last third of the book is the story of charity:water from the very beginning.

    What I loved most about this book was Scott’s ability to weave a bunch of different stories together to tell his own story: family problems, questioning beliefs, the rebellion, the success in New York, questioning his future, giving a year to charity, creating a charity, finding his wife, speaking of his kids’ births, and the failures and successes of the charity itself.

    While this is definitely not a religious charity or book, but it is hard to not think that Scott has had Someone’s help from above, or just amazingly good timed luck-from childhood through the current time.

    Great read-specifically because he talks about his doubts, failures and shortcomings. Scott is open, raw and completely human-something that is hard to find in a memoir or autobiography.

    I for one completely believe that Scott and charity:water could end the water crisis in my lifetime.

  • Cindy Luis

    This is a very personal story by Scott Harrison of his journey from a confused, rebellious young boy whose mother had a strange illness and whose parents became zealous in their faith to a selfish, partying young man to the founder of a wonderful charity hoping to make a real difference in this world! The book is easy to read and will touch your heart and soul. Scott doesn't hide the truth of his life as a drinking, drug-using night club promoter. Instead he tells us how he used the skills and c

    This is a very personal story by Scott Harrison of his journey from a confused, rebellious young boy whose mother had a strange illness and whose parents became zealous in their faith to a selfish, partying young man to the founder of a wonderful charity hoping to make a real difference in this world! The book is easy to read and will touch your heart and soul. Scott doesn't hide the truth of his life as a drinking, drug-using night club promoter. Instead he tells us how he used the skills and connections made during that time of his life to launch charity: water and to use new and different approaches to attract loyal, long-time donors. I personally love this charity and I enjoyed this book. I first donated because of a campaign discussed in the book. It was an inspiring but bittersweet campaign launched by a sweet little girl who shared the same birthday as me. Scott handles the chapter about this campaign perfectly. It is open, honest and touching and definitely brought a tear to my eye. There are a few other moments like this in the book where the reader is exposed to the tragedy and the plight of those who do not have clean water and the beauty of being able to provide people with such a basic human need, WATER. Scott doesn't shy away from the truth or any of the problems and issues encountered along the way. This story is an open, honest account of all that it has taken to establish this charity, make the 100% model for donations work and to grow this non-profity with hard work, dedication and love. I whole-heartedly recommend reading Thirst whether you are a donor, want to be a donor or just love a good story about making a real difference in this world. And, of course, 100% of the profits from sale of Thirst go to fund water projects! Go ahead, read this book. Buy a few copies for family and friends. Donate or join those of us who are part of The Spring and donate regulary. Be a part of the "mission to bring clean water to the world."

  • Hadrien

    Thirst is a feel good, inspiring read. Scott Harrison is a fantastic story teller who exemplifies how one person can inspire countless others to get behind something they believe in and take action. Scott's stories paint a clear picture of what life in water deprived parts of Africa is like and make you feel connected to the people there.This book is not a technical read and did not go into much detail on the causes behind the water crisis such as politics, climate change, or the long-term susta

    Thirst is a feel good, inspiring read. Scott Harrison is a fantastic story teller who exemplifies how one person can inspire countless others to get behind something they believe in and take action. Scott's stories paint a clear picture of what life in water deprived parts of Africa is like and make you feel connected to the people there.This book is not a technical read and did not go into much detail on the causes behind the water crisis such as politics, climate change, or the long-term sustainability of acquifiers as a water source. Each of those subjects deserve their own books, so it's probably a good thing Scott didn't try to cram everything which relates to the water crisis in this 300 page book but I certainly do hope he will write other books on the subject because his first one was such a joy to read.

  • Jeff Lochhead

    If you only read one book this year, this should be it!! It is not very often that I slow down reading a book, because I didn’t want it to end. Harrison’s story challenges one to look beyond their comforts and step into the incredibly transforming lifestyle of living by faith. In his case, changing the lives of thousands around the world by providing clean water to areas of the world that are without.

  • Nani Birrell

    Where do I even begin? I had to break up my review in 2 parts.

    Part 1. Scott’s Writing:

    I’m a self-published author and a female construction worker living in Las Vegas. My start time is 6 a.m. at the Resorts World tower. I found myself getting to work earlier and earlier to read “Thirst”. If I missed the man lift to my work area on the 5th floor I practically ran up the 5 stories worth of stairs to give myself more time to read. I could not stomach the 10-minute wait time for its return. I didn

    Where do I even begin? I had to break up my review in 2 parts.

    Part 1. Scott’s Writing:

    I’m a self-published author and a female construction worker living in Las Vegas. My start time is 6 a.m. at the Resorts World tower. I found myself getting to work earlier and earlier to read “Thirst”. If I missed the man lift to my work area on the 5th floor I practically ran up the 5 stories worth of stairs to give myself more time to read. I could not stomach the 10-minute wait time for its return. I didn’t eat much on my 30-minute lunch breaks. When I finally finished the book, I had to take several days to digest it all. Scott Harrison did a beautiful job of choosing which accounts to use in his complex story to connect me to his experiences. It’s not easy to do. His written accounts of key moments weren’t forced but felt effortless to tell his story. His writing is engaging—it provoked feelings of awe, broke my heart and gave me joy overall.

    Part 2: Content

    I have experienced poverty—I was born into it. Poverty can be used as a benchmark for lack of clean water. The fact that one man’s passion to bring life giving clean water to millions may have raised that bench mark is nothing short of a miracle! Scott and his team broke through cultural differences, language barriers, geography, war, corruption, bureaucracy and “TIF” (This Is Africa) aka “Africa Time” to deliver clean water. I could see scriptures come alive in Scott Harrison’s story. The following scripture resonated with me, most. Right before Jesus was crucified He was speaking to his inner circle of Disciples’. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater [works] than these he will do, because I go to My Father. God will use believers and non-believers for his good purpose, but I have to say that I would rather be the believer. Scott Harrison, thank you! May God continue to guide you and give you favor among men! God bless you and your family and all those by your side.

  • Daniel Henderson

    This is my #1 for the year.

  • Kathryn

    I have really wrestled with my feelings about this book and how to deal with my issues. I considered just leaving some stars and be done with it. I don't think that is fair to any of the parties involved, not to the writer, the publisher or those who will consider purchasing the book. Thus, I will break it down to good and bad. I have returned 15 hours later to remove stars from this conversation so we can focus on essential matters. We are not children waiting to see if the teacher put a star o

    I have really wrestled with my feelings about this book and how to deal with my issues. I considered just leaving some stars and be done with it. I don't think that is fair to any of the parties involved, not to the writer, the publisher or those who will consider purchasing the book. Thus, I will break it down to good and bad. I have returned 15 hours later to remove stars from this conversation so we can focus on essential matters. We are not children waiting to see if the teacher put a star on our coloring.

    First let me establish my own credentials. I graduated from Florida State University with a Business Degree in Non-Profit Management, it was the first class in the Business School for Undergraduate work in the country at that time in 1986. Due to the low salaries, interest was insufficient for the college to continue offering this program (so I was 1 in 3). I have work experience with 3 different non-profits and volunteered my time with several more. I earned a full ride to all four years of college based on my academic achievements. Likewise, I was in the top 2% of my High School class. Few people know this about me, I am not one to brag, I am explaining my background as being no stranger to the business world. My career has always involved managing people, programs, marketing, communications and finances. Thus I had certain expectations when reading this book.

    First the good, Scott Harrison is the ultimate pitch man. He believes he can change the world and is convinced no matter what your background, age or income, you can help. He states that all funds collected for charity:water (is how it was displayed in the Advanced Reading Copy); is supported 100% by donation only, to dig wells and they have dug many across the African Continent and changed many lives for the better. He does mention that there is a separate fund for contributions to offset rent, office supplies, salaries, mailing invitations, processing credit cards, and other necessities (high end parties targeting the wealthy for donations), - not that other charities don't do the same thing). He went from being a marketing/promoter for Night Clubs and rubbing elbows from movie stars, and dating top models to the bringing in the big boys to spend their cash on high prized booze while they gazed on the celebrities. He was using various drugs daily seemed to have everything. Then he hit his bottom and left that world to join Mercy Ships, which old ships converted into traveling hospitals that do surgery all over the African continent. After being there for nearly two years, handling their promotions and marketing, he realized that he wanted to go to the source of the many health problems he saw. Scott believed by providing wells for better health among the various African nations where war and other issues resulted in little governmental infrastructure to provide their peoples with healthy water. Many times, he witnessed adults and children drink water that was dark brown or green because the river or pond they had access to was not safe. It is an amazing story. I commend Scott for his dedication, his inspiration and his creativity.

    Now the less appealing appraisal, it is hard to give a rating/review/appraisal on someone's life, since the format is autobiographical. Reading this book for me was like watching hours of late night local infomercials. I felt like I was reading 336 pages of a pep rally. The minutia that is explored made my brain numb. This book could be more influential if it was cut by at least 100 pages. Additionally, I read some names of people and know their affiliations and I was deeply disturbed that this Christian man was working with this caliber of person and in one instance, he played it off as if it was no big deal. As a Christian (which is what Scott claims to be, the scripture is clear that we don't affiliate with people, who are not in agreement with the scriptures). I am not saying don't go to lunch with someone because they have different beliefs, I am talking about being in a working relationship. This may not concern most readers but I deeply disturbs me. The fact he played it off, demonstrates that he knows better as well. Since this is not the final copy, I am not permitted to quote anything. I suspect if the book isn't finalized, my mention of this may prompt the removal of that story.

    **I went to the website and I wasn't impressed, now, I didn't get far because I didn't want to provide my full name and email and permit cookies to be used! I am not looking at porn or some get rich quick scheme, I want to see what you do in the field. THIS IS A BIG RED FLAG FOR ME! As far as I am concerned, I don't want to be stalked by you just because I went to your website to see if it is as fantastic as you claim, thanks but how do I know you won't sell my information then I spend 15 minutes a day for months sending all your other charity buddies my data so they can ask for money as well.**

    Furthermore, I read Mountains Beyond Mountains and I don't think it is a fair comparison. Yes, both are selfless and yes, their work is discussed but in Mountains Beyond Mountains, there wasn't a plea for money at least not in every paragraph! I think it might have come at the end but if there was it was subtle such as if you want to help, here is the address type solicitation.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see this "story" made into a documentary and being shown at movie theaters in large communities with high, middle class income brackets (and many opportunities for donations). It is probably in the works at this moment. I would consider going but only after others commented on it's content because frankly, I wouldn't buy a theater ticket to watch 90 minutes of what I just read.

    Most of the reader's didn't write a review currently (19 wrote nothing and 2 people left very brief and fluffy comments). Those 19 people didn't want to say what I will. The synopsis of this book is all you really need to know. If you buy the book so that you make a donation, more power to you at least they won't stick browser cookies into your book!

    Thank you to Goodreads, Currency publishers and author Scott Harrison an opportunity to read this book in return for my honest opinion.

    Edited September 2, 2018 for clarity.

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