4 out of 4 stars
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Man Mission[/] by Eytan Uliel is the story of a four-man group who embark on a yearly journey. Each trip has to be more demanding and “manly” than the previous one and the heroes’ traveling adventures take us to all sorts of exotic destinations from Vietnam to Peru to New Zealand and Iceland. At the same time, we witness their life adventures, too. Through the years they get married, have children, struggle through adulthood, they get divorced, desperate and back on their feet. This is a book about the great journey of life, both literally and metaphorically.
The book is indeed delicious to read. It is a real page turner and a story that keeps the reader interested from the first page to the last. There is the obvious perk of reading about various destinations one would not normally even dream of visiting in real life. Each of the trips the gang take would be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for anyone, yet these guys go everywhere and they somehow take us with them-how cool is that? Also, Eytan Uliel helpfully provides a map at the beginning of each chapter. In this way, the reader can actually visualize the journey as if they were present.
Another great thing about this book are the quotes. Before each Man Mission begins, the author introduces the struggles his heroes will be facing on the trip and in their private lives by quoting some famous people and the Bible. This is some kind of quiz. It is as if the reader needs to prepare themselves for what is lying ahead, but they should also strive to make it out. In a way it seems that the author is trying to pass a message; that life is no easy game, that we all need to try hard to reach awareness and find the true meaning of life, even when that is written all over the place. At the same time, it feels like some sort of consolation-that we all go through the same ups and downs, that no matter how overwhelming a difficulty seems, it has happened before and will happen again, so it is no big deal after all.
Man Mission is definitely a 4 out of 4 book. It is a delightful insight into a man’s, or any man’s for that matter, soul. It is wonderful how stereotypes are addressed, and shown to ruin people’s dreams and lives. The main character is totally destroyed by his preconceptions, that he should prove himself to be the perfect husband, father, worker or the perfect provider for his family. None of the trouble he goes through would have occurred had he learned to talk about his feelings instead of bottling them up. This is something all of us should remember.
Most importantly, however, the book deserves the highest rating because nowhere through the story is the main character’s name mentioned. He is a man without a name. And for that reason he could be any one of us.
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