Review by aacodreanu -- Man Mission by Eytan Uliel

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aacodreanu
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Review by aacodreanu -- Man Mission by Eytan Uliel

Post by aacodreanu »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Man Mission" by Eytan Uliel.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Man Mission: Four men, fifteen years, one epic journey is a memoir written by Eytan Uliel of fifteen years of his life. Does the journey end there? I hope not.

Why do men need to prove themselves? Psychologists might have the answer. What is clear from this book is that they do. It seems they need the rush of adrenaline when they overcome yet another obstacle. Writing the book must have been another challenge for Eytan Uliel because he does not share only descriptions of the exotic places or the pleasant, extreme or nasty moments of the trips, but also the experiences he has before, during, and after the expeditions in his personal and professional life.

What in many young men (and not only) remains as a wild dream of youth, materializes in this case when Sam, Eytan’s pal from student times, approaches him with the proposition to go for it. So hiking in New Zeeland starts the series of adventures, one each year, the team extended to four participants with Daniel and Alec joining in. Code and rules are established, just like teenagers would do. The adventure thirsty reader is taken to Korea, Japan, Spain, Peru, Iceland, and more, in cycling, hiking or kayaking expeditions.
While not on the journey, the rest of the men’s lives happen, in such as dating, marrying, children, job promotions, job loss, depression and shrink analyses, divorce, and reconciliation, new love.

While with each of the completed adventure the protagonists prove themselves to be "the men", I had a feeling I was watching one or a series of Woody Allan’s films. Doubt and uncertainty, self-pity and need not to lose face poison the joy of accomplishing such extraordinary tasks. The burden of feeling judged and of comparing to the friends at his disadvantage weigh heavy in the balance. I suppose the reader will choose, according to their disposition, the full or the empty part of the glass.

So, on the positive side, all the adventures are successful, children are growing relatively happy, there are empathy and support within the friends’ group and finally, there is acceptance and peace in the life of the protagonist. If anyone, man or belonging to the fair gender, might be jealous of the exploits that they only get to read about, the psychological turmoil happening under the serene surface of the characters will make such less inclined to resenting or envying them. On the contrary, they will be happy for the way things smooth out in the end, although this reader cannot help but wonder...

Among the readership of this book, I would count people enjoying vicarious travels but also those reflecting on their life course and the whys and wherefores of various events therein. Would women enjoy the book? This one has and I am sure many others will, some trying to solve the mystery of men bonding, other taking sides in the disputes the characters have with their spouses.

The style is natural and adequate with every situation, there are no errors or mistakes as much as I could gather, so I cannot but grant the book four out of four stars even if a bit sad about the tame ending.

******
Man Mission
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Cotwani
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Post by Cotwani »

I reviewed the book too and I have to agree there is lots of psychological turmoil below the fun filled exterior. Great review!
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aacodreanu
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Post by aacodreanu »

Cotwani wrote: ↑
08 Feb 2020, 10:55
I reviewed the book too and I have to agree there is lots of psychological turmoil below the fun filled exterior. Great review!
Thank you for your comment. I am glad you agree with me.

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Post by mary-annef »

Great review. Not sure I agree with the Woody Allan comparison though - I hate his movies and I really enjoyed this book. I think that Uliel is writing a book about men, and leaves the female characters pretty undefined. As opposed to Allan, who dedicates time and attention to his female characters Less than flatteringly in my opinion. "Increasingly, the women in his movies can be divided up between menopausal nuts and coltish sluts,” noted James Wolcott in Vanity Fair in 1998. I didn't get the impression from Uliel that he resents women or expects them to behave in any particular way. His protagonist is just trying to find who he is and what being a man means to him.

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Post by aacodreanu »

mary-annef wrote: ↑
08 Feb 2020, 14:31
Great review. Not sure I agree with the Woody Allan comparison though - I hate his movies and I really enjoyed this book. I think that Uliel is writing a book about men, and leaves the female characters pretty undefined. As opposed to Allan, who dedicates time and attention to his female characters Less than flatteringly in my opinion. "Increasingly, the women in his movies can be divided up between menopausal nuts and coltish sluts,” noted James Wolcott in Vanity Fair in 1998. I didn't get the impression from Uliel that he resents women or expects them to behave in any particular way. His protagonist is just trying to find who he is and what being a man means to him.
Thank you for your comment. You are right as regards the difference in the way the two see women. What I had found similar was a sort of whining and complaining and not being pleased no matter what was happening to them. Perhaps the similitude could be that they both treat women as a different species (which, of course, we are). But again, it is a long time since I saw Woody Allan's movies.
Thanks again!

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Post by SomeoneInTheWorld »

This sounds like an amazing book with profound characters and fascinating adventures. I'll probably read it. Thanks for the insightful review!

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Post by sanjus »

A memoir of four men spanning fifteen years on one epic journey around the world seems quite interesting to read. Thanks for your quite informative review.
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Post by Manali_DC »

Adventure filled travel stories always make for great reading! And I think traveling is a great test of character - so, I agree when the authors say that with each adventure they proved themselves men! Thank you for a very well written and detailed review!

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Post by aacodreanu »

Manali_DC wrote: ↑
12 Feb 2020, 10:43
Adventure filled travel stories always make for great reading! And I think traveling is a great test of character - so, I agree when the authors say that with each adventure they proved themselves men! Thank you for a very well written and detailed review!
Thank you for your comment! Yes, travel is a big attraction! In another life perhaps I will be a man in need to prove himself by travelling. :eusa-think:

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Post by Nerea »

I like the reason you mention about men needing to prove themselves.
It seems they need the rush of adrenaline when they overcome yet another obstacle
It sounds profound. You did great in your review. Kudos. :tiphat:
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Post by aacodreanu »

Nerea wrote: ↑
12 Feb 2020, 23:20
I like the reason you mention about men needing to prove themselves.
It seems they need the rush of adrenaline when they overcome yet another obstacle
It sounds profound. You did great in your review. Kudos. :tiphat:
Thank you for reading my review and for your nice comments!

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Post by Julius_ »

I also got an opportunity to read this book when it was the BOTM. I like reading your reviews. Thanks for the review.
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Post by aacodreanu »

Julius_ wrote: ↑
14 Feb 2020, 01:23
I also got an opportunity to read this book when it was the BOTM. I like reading your reviews. Thanks for the review.
Thank you, Julius, for your comment and for reading my reviews!

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Post by Shabram22 »

I also read this book. I really enjoyed it as well. Thank you for your review.

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Post by aacodreanu »

Thank you for reading it Shabram22.

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