J. Wilson, the man who survived on beer for 46 days, has lived to tell the tale -- in book format, naturally.
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When we spoke with Wilson back in April (Part 1, Part 2), he was in the midst of his Lenten fast, subsisting on nothing but water and rich, malty doppelbock, a style of beer developed by the monks of Neudeck ob der Au. The story is strange enough. It gets stranger when you know that Wilson isn't even a Catholic. Then again, this wasn't a quest undertaken for the gluttonous shock value (30 Burgers... cough, cough) but an act of intellectual curiosity, a test of willpower and a spiritual exercise.
An avid home-brewer and self-described "semi-professional beer drinker," Wilson, who edits a small weekly newspaper in Iowa, chronicled his day-by-day experiences on his blog, Diary of a Part-Time Monk. The final result, a book of the same title, came out earlier this month ($14.95).
The book goes beyond the original blog posts, delving into monastic history, doppelbock's legendary origins and Wilson's personal quest to live as a monk in the modern world -- if not literally then in a way that maintains a deeper connection to the divine. Or, as he said on Day 1 in his online journal:
I'm not sure which is better during this time: to be busy to keep my mind off bacon, or to be under-scheduled so I can really take time for contemplation but risk a mind that wanders toward pulled pork? Somewhere in the middle is the proper domain for a part-time monk, and I'll find it.