4 out of 4 stars
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Man Mission by Eytan Uliel
An idea, established in college by two guys, turns into reality in their 20s. Four friends, the narrator and his companions Sam, Daniel, and Alec take a week-long adventure trip each year — the Man Mission. They hike, bike, climb, and kayak their way through some of the world's most stunning and exotic locations. The yearly event becomes a cherished tradition while they spend the rest of the year building up a life for them and their families.
Real men don't plan their trips, so the first few Man Missions are chaotic and disorganized. The guys also pick up the one or other injury on their tours. The friends keep adding new rules and rituals, and the Man Mission becomes a constant part in their lives. The author describes the destinations in rich colours. He fills the pages with humour and adventure, but also with heavy-hearted parts.
I truly enjoyed reading this book. As a woman, men still are kind of mysterious creatures to me. Thus, it was interesting to read a tale about being a man and to get a sneak peek into a man's mind and feelings. Society still dictates that men have to be strong, are not allowed to show feelings, and need to provide for their family. The narrator shows, how hard it can be for a man, how lonely it can get, and how much pressure it is to be squeezed into this role.
What I liked most was the deep friendship between the characters and to see it growing and changing over the years. I also liked how well the story was written and the pictures the words formed in my mind. First, it was quite difficult, with jumping back and forth in the timeline, to get into the story. The writing style kept the story alive and running, so this feeling quickly changed after the first two chapters.
I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. The book was exceptionally well-edited. I didn't notice any errors. The reading of this book gave me joy and made me smile, but I also sometimes had some tears in my eyes. It felt personal and intimate to read this story, and I enjoyed every sentence. I would recommend the novel to fans of the travel book genre, but also to everyone, who enjoys a good and insightful read.
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