4 out of 4 stars
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Man Mission by Eytan Uliel is a narrative about four men that decided to tour some sites of interest around the globe. The men, after their graduation from the University, sought a means of keeping their friendship intact. Their trips took them to New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Fiji, Spain, Thailand, South Korea, South Africa, Vietnam, USA, Taiwan, Peru and Iceland. For fifteen years, they kept faith with their tours where they saw themselves on separate occasions: hiking, kayaking, cycling, trekking, etc. These activities made them see themselves as real men.
Changes occurred, and they took them in their strides. First thing first, job is very important in the lives of these men who believed that they had their own lives to live. Marriage followed, then there're the relevant issues of raising children and taking care of the family. The transition from manhood to fatherhood, and change that came with advancing years. The nagging demand that came with being a worker. And of course, the ability of the individual to manage affairs as they came.
Man mission was founded by Sam and the narrator, who happened to be a member of the team. They were joined later by Daniel and Alec. Man mission had a sound structure. It had its own Charter. It also had its own rules. Each adventure tour that was undertaken by the team's always planned. Research's carried out, from the country where they'd visit, to the food they'd eat. Including accommodation. There's an able organizer in the person of Daniel. Although man mission revolved around men, however, it did not undermine the position of the women. For example, man mission had what's called the "wives committee". This committee which's comprised of the wives of these men had to approve any travel arrangement of this "mission" before it'd take effect.
This mission might have seemed like a mere escape route for four accomplished men who were seeking leisure outside the regular work environment, and the attendant responsibility that came with fatherhood. But beyond these, this inevitable mission, to some of these adventurers, became a "rehabilitation center of sorts", where the inmate reclined, to brood over the consequences of his action or inaction. For example, when the narrator came face-to-face with the realities of infidelity, he kind of, needed the man mission more than the man mission needed him. But then, the exercise kept bringing these men together. Men who had taken to different careers in life. Men whose wives might have taken decisions that would have ruined their homes permanently. Men who compared and contrasted their physical appearances in relation to their mates'. Men who'd have embarked on their individual journeys for fifteen solid years, and never returned.
Eytan Uliel is consistent with the way he compares Bible citations and circular quotations. But I wonder with great wonderment, the relevance of these comparisons apropos of the subject under review. I know that man mission is essential for physical development, whereas Bible knowledge is for spiritual uplift, when needed. Having said that, man mission is instructive in some ways. It reveals that the men must have been selfish in their desire to explore the world, without commensurate emotional feelings for their spouses. Even though that they might have provided adequately for their families before embarking on those journeys, neither did they go their for amorous gratifications; the evidence on ground proved that the family felt neglected and hurt, some of the times. And the time spent on those trips ought to have been shared between the wives and the children. The account of Rachael showed that she was frustrated because her husband devoted more time to work and travel than he gave to them. That's why when she caught her husband (the narrator) in adultery, she divorced him decisively, and never looked back!
I read Man Mission and I liked what Eytan Uliel wrote therein. A men-dominated world is often envisaged, but the realities of life sometimes demand that there should be a balance between machismo and femininity. The book is well-researched. It is well-edited. I do not see significant typos to discredit it.
Those that like adventure will find the book interesting, and to that extent, will not find any of the wordings offensive. Also, those that are planning a vacation; or are looking for tourist destinations will find it a good read, even though it is an other fiction. I would have rated it 3 out of 4 stars, but for the fact that it contains some lessons on morality, of which, if we study them deeply, we won't be repeating the mistakes, especially of the narrator. I score it 4 out of 4 stars.
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