4 out of 4 stars
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What is the accurate measure of a man? Is it following the standards of society, or being faithful to one's self? Man Mission: Four Men, Fifteen Years, One Epic Journey by Eytan Uliel is the story of four friends who asked themselves that question. In quest of the answer, the four formulated an idea of taking annual trips to different countries around the world. The goal was to challenge their physical abilities with strenuous activities such as hiking, kayaking, and biking; and, to search within themselves for who they are, outside of the expectations of others. And so, Man Mission was born.
Despite the objection of "The Wives Club," the men pursued their mission annually. In addition to physically challenging themselves more with each passing year, they shared their life struggles, supported each other, and had the time of their lives traveling around the world. They laughed, cried, faced obstacles and injuries, and through fifteen years of Man Mission, they stuck together.
The author does a superb job of combining many of the Man Mission events with a flashback of life at home. Uliel's humor is contagious as he describes the hilarious antics of the characters on each trip and the strengths and weaknesses of each of the men. His descriptions of the surrounding scenery from each destination are breathtaking. As the four go from young men to middle-age, trying to define who they are outside of their routine lives, the reader can relate to their laughter, tears, personal struggles, and victories.
I loved almost everything about this book. The only thing I disliked was the strong language scattered throughout. I also felt the book was a little too long. By the last couple of trips, I felt the dialog becoming repetitive, as did the physical activities of the men. There were some descriptions of sexual encounters described briefly. While not erotic, there are comments not suitable for the younger reader. There are also some slang references to male and female anatomy that would not be appropriate for the younger generation.
The book was exceptionally well-edited, as I found no errors. Man Mission by Eytan Uliel is a delightful book, and I am pleased to give it 4 out of 4 stars. Those who enjoy a good fiction novel with all the elements from drama to humor and romance to adventure will undoubtedly enjoy this book. It is a story about men from a man's perspective; however, women will enjoy it too. I know I certainly did.
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