4 out of 4 stars
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Man Mission by Eytan Uliel is a powerful, inspiring novel about a man discovering himself through his annual escapades with his friends. The novel includes quests through various countries, updates of what has happened through the years, and interwoven monologues which provide an in-depth view into a man’s struggles in his life and how he overcomes them. He is forced to face his fears and dreams head-on and figure out how to move through life to find a happy ending.
The novel begins with a college friend, Sam, reminding the narrator that they had dreams in college to go on trips to other countries to embrace the outdoors and eat foreign foods. They decide to go to New Zealand and hike for a week; this is the beginning of the “Man Mission” trips. Each year, they go on increasingly treacherous missions of biking, hiking, and kayaking, along with their two friends, Daniel and Alec. Together, the four Australian men experience injuries, heartbreaks, and loss while embracing the outdoors and enjoying each other’s company. From getting help from drug dealers to almost drowning to killing an animal to nearly missing a shark attack, each adventure brings success and loss. For fifteen years, the men continue their annual journeys and experience life away from wives, kids, and work while discovering who they are and the type of men they want to become.
I thoroughly enjoyed Man Mission. Uliel has a beautiful way of explaining what the main character is feeling and how much he holds back his emotions with his friends and family. The book is well written and holds the reader captive emotionally.
I didn’t like that the main character’s name is never mentioned. The reader doesn’t know if Uliel is the one that is the assumed main character; however, the book is fiction, so assuming Uliel is the narrator seems wrong. I also disliked how much the book jumped around between the present and the last year; a few times, it was confusing. The middle of the book moved a little slowly; sometimes it seemed like there was not much information about the missions and the story line didn’t flow as well.
I’m rating this book 4 out of 4 stars. I believe Man Mission is an extraordinary novel that provides an inspiring walk through the life of a man intent on living his life to the fullest. Many different audiences will enjoy this book, specifically, adult men and women who enjoy thrillers and drama. I would not recommend younger readers for this book due to the profanity. The novel is exceptionally edited and well written.
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