4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
“Books don’t just go with you, they take you where you’ve never been.” Man Mission by Eytan Uliel proves this verbatim. The tag line is very simply stated as “Four Men, Fifteen Years, One Epic Journey” but the story is so much more than that. It is so realistic and thrilling at the same time. It will be very hard for me to contain my excitement in this review.
The story is told from the view of a law school graduate. As I am writing this view, I realized that the protagonist’s name is not reviewed throughout the entire story! The reader knows it’s a male from the context, but he refers to himself as “I” or “me” or “my”, etc. all through the story! Amazing. Let me get to the story. It begins with a small excerpt of the first adventure. Soon after, we are given a flashback on how the “Man Mission” started. The protagonist had once told his law school friend that he wished that he could have adventures while sightseeing across the globe. It remains as a wish for several years, until his friend, Sam, calls him and tells him his great plan for the first adventure, trekking in New Zealand. The protagonist almost laughs it off, stating that he is too busy with work. But with Sam’s persistence and permission from his (protagonist's) girlfriend, Rachel, the “Man Mission” begins.
Thus begins the reader’s journey as well. We are taken to exotic places like New Zealand, Japan, Hawaii, South Africa and many more. The yearly trip taken by four friends (the protagonist and Sam ask their close friends Daniel and Alec to join them) is described in vivid detail. With the addition of their friends, the “Man Mission” becomes more organized, planned and safe. Even though the protagonist is the one who usually gets hurt in most of the trips (perhaps to show that he is the least muscular), his friends help in any way possible (after guffawing at his misery first). To prove their strength and daring, each trip is more treacherous than the last, including trekking, mountain biking, ice mountain scaling and so much more. I am not an adventurous person myself, but I thoroughly enjoyed the description of each activity with zeal.
The story doesn’t limit itself to the trips. Each chapter has a flashback of the days leading to the trip. Thus we get a peek into (mainly the protagonist’s) the friends’ personal lives as well. I liked this personal touch, though I am not a fan of multiple flashbacks.
I know this review is going to end up very long, but I am helpless because it is a very huge story and very vast too. I am happy to say that I found only a handful of errors, some of which I suppose are typing errors. The plot line is perfect and it is a true page-turner. Despite its length of almost 400 pages, I wasn’t bored for even an instant. We actually feel like we are traveling with these four men, sometimes they are childish and stubborn, but eventually, they come back to reality and are devoted to their lives. It is a hilarious read as well, as these grown men are often frustrated by “The Wives Committee” as they call their spouses. Foul language is at a bare minimum. Since I don’t use that language myself, I believe that it could have been avoided completely. Adult scenes are said matter-of-factly, without details, which I appreciated. I think this is a true treat for all adventure lovers. Sometimes the friends meet illegal drug smugglers, but most of the time, they make new friends in each country. Despite all the fun they have, their personal lives have their own ups and downs, complete with layoffs, breakups, divorce, and deaths of beloved ones. I learned many lessons like the power of friendship, love, the importance of a steady job (preferably one you love and enjoy) and the greatest of all: taking some time off. Even with a busy schedule and a rocky personal life, the guys make time for an annual trip (two days to a week) and have fun with each other. It was an amazing story.
Keeping all these points in mind, I award this book 4 out of 4 stars. Since the mistakes were so few and so minute, they didn’t affect the overall quality of the story. I am eager to read more books by this author and I am very happy that I was privileged to review such an amazing page-turner. I hope everyone enjoys this! It is fiction, but so very realistic that I had to confirm the genre twice with my own eyes before stating it! Thank you, Eytan Uliel!
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on iTunes
Like Swara Sangeet's review? Post a comment saying so!