4 out of 4 stars
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Man Mission by Eytan Uliel is the true story of a man and his three friends undertaking a variety of adventures. They meet up once a year for a Man Mission a trip where they have to be as rugged and masculine as possible to escape their normal lives. The trips are taken as a way of coping with their struggle to be men in the modern world. What should they be doing? How should they behave? Do real men show their feelings? Their annual Man Mission is a chance for them to be free of the demands placed on them by society, their families and themselves. It is a coming of age story, of sorts, with an interesting commentary on how we change as we grow older.
The book was exceptionally well edited and had a beautiful layout. Each chapter is prefaced with a couple of quotes that obviously mean a lot to the author and basic map of where the next adventure takes place (very helpful for those of us with a loose grasp on geography!). This made it easy to follow the different threads of the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and have given it 4 out of 4 stars. The story is told with honesty and I enjoyed the way the adventure elements complemented the details about the events occurring in their normal lives. It was engaging and the four men, particularly the narrator, are so real I felt like I was one of their group in places. There is no attempt to make the men out to be better, or worse, than they are which is part of the magic of the book.
The author makes the journeys so easy to imagine although I would have liked more detail of what life is like in the countries the author visited in places and an epilogue telling me what the author is up to now would have been nice. This is mainly because I became so interested his story.
I think that this book would appeal to people who like to travel and those who like to find out how people think and why they do things. It’s not a children’s book but I would think it would be interesting to older teenagers about to head out in to the world themselves as well as adults who may recognize their own feelings in the pages.
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