4 out of 4 stars
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Man Mission is a book written by Eytan Uliel and published by Archway publishing.
Charlie once shared his desire to travel around the world with his college acquaintance, Sam. He imagined it being a regular thing, going to foreign lands and sampling any bizarre edibles the natives consumed. Sam took Charlie up on his offer as soon as they were independent adults working in the corporate world. During their first Man Mission in New Zealand, they decided to make it an annual occurrence and invite Charlie’s long-time friends, Alec and Daniel.
As time went by, the four Australians would make annual adventures visiting all continents of the world except one. They would do some cycling, kayaking, trekking, mountain climbing and any other activities they could come up with to make their trips as challenging as possible. They met all kinds of people along the way, and also ate a variety of foods in the process. The only food they unanimously declined to indulge in was dog soup (Charlie involuntarily decided against it), somewhere in the bowels of South Korea. As the years went by, the four men would grow in their careers, talk about their relationships, marriages, and kids, grow their waistlines, and make major mistakes and comebacks along the way.
The adventures in the book were narrated by Charlie Brown, the main character who doubled as the map reader for the Man Mission team. What I liked most about the book is the author’s ability to bring out the many things men deal with in life in a narrative that is very easy to follow and contemplate upon. The development of the individual characters was done to a decent level of detail. For instance, within the team, there was Daniel the organizer and chef, Sam the fire expert and as mentioned, Charlie. the one in charge of directions and map reading.
Many gentlemen would connect well to various aspects of the four main characters’ personal affairs as they read this book. I highly recommend it to the men out there, as well as women who are curious to understand the world of men. This is especially necessary for an era where gender roles are no longer as obvious as they were in the past, where culture and physical attributes made it easy to determine who did the heavy lifting (like hunting game) and who took care of home affairs, (like nurturing children).
I do not have anything to point out that is most dislike-able about the book. The narrative is easy enough to understand for a teenager and relatable enough to move the emotions of a 70-year-old. The layout of the book (a destination for each chapter), as well as the author’s weaving in and out of the adventure narrative to tell personal stories, makes the reading experience very enjoyable. Without any spelling or grammatical errors noted, I rate the book with 4 out of 4 stars.
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