3 out of 4 stars
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Four Australian men, who have been friends since grammar school, continue a lifetime of friendship and adventure after their university days. Sam, Daniel, Alec, and Etyan (assumed to be the fourth person) become men through one-week getaways that physically test them. The trips allow them to be macho, yet childish at the same time. At the end of the adventure week each man returns to his everyday life of family, work, and responsibility. Man Mission by Eytan Uliel walks the reader through each of the fifteen one-week getaways and provides insight into the lives of each of the men.
The book is a well written, exciting story that is packed with adventure. It focuses on the child in each of us and the yearning to stay young. It also reflects how we all view ourselves as we age. Our hearts and minds say we are young and can do anything and our bodies say something else. It is also a story of the realities of life and the changes that occur as we mature both physically and in our life situations. It touches on the realities of work, family, loneliness, joy, and heartbreak. Each character goes through similar situations at different times in their lives. They all think they are alone in their thoughts and situations, but they find out that they all are experiencing the same things.
The man missions allow them to experience beautiful locations that are vividly described by the author. The descriptions allow the reader to feel like they are on the mission trips, as each location, activity, and local cuisine is described. I felt that the author did an excellent job of drawing the reader into the scenarios. The male characters were well developed, and it was easy to feel their excitement on the trips, but also to feel their inner suffering for some of the life situations that were discussed. My favorite part of the book was the adventure stories. I found myself wanting to go on some of these treks just for fun.
My least favorite part of the book was the language. I felt that many of the cuss words were unnecessary and did not add to the book. I also felt that the women characters, although peripheral to the story, helped to mold the characters and maybe played a much larger role in the story than they were given. The main character (unnamed in the book) also seemed to struggle with being happy or finding any type of happiness. Although this may be an accurate portrayal it sometimes made the book seem depressing around the adventures.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes an adventure story. It is appropriate for young adults and up, both men and women. There is a lot of cursing in the book which may be inappropriate for teens and younger readers. I would also recommend this book to anyone who believes that life is always perfect and fun since the book discusses the daily routines and struggles of life. I would rate this book 3 out of 4 stars because of the language. I did not see any grammatical or spelling errors.
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