4 out of 4 stars
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Man Mission by Eytan Uliel is guaranteed to take you on the adventure of a lifetime!
Whilst in law school the author bonds with his friend Sam over interesting food and their mutual love for travel. A seed is planted that they would like to travel to exotic places, eat foreign food and do manly exercise to alleviate the guilt of overindulgence. Needless to say, I few years down the line, they turn the dream into reality and so the Man Mission Charter is born.
The two young men set off on the first voyage alone and are joined by their friends Daniel and Alec on later travels. The four friends explore places like New Zealand, Japan, Fiji, Spain, South Korea (North Korea was vetoed by the ‘Wives Committee’), South Africa, Vietnam, USA, Taiwan, Peru, Iceland and of course some short trips in their home country of Australia. On these travels, they cycle, hike, kayak, ski, and sail. They stay in tents, huts, with random strangers on farms, and generally just about anywhere the road takes them. They sustain many injuries between them over 15 years whilst on the excursions, but luckily none of it is truly life-threatening. They eat strange and outlandish food, and they enjoy the feeling of being young and free for a couple of days annually.
The author is a gifted storyteller. He uses the first-person narrative but does not neglect to sympathetically see things from his friend’s points of view. His use of humor is whimsical, and I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions. I thoroughly enjoyed each chapter and felt like I was right there with them, laughing, crying, joking about, and learning. The growth that each man underwent is magnificent. The ultimate message I received from this book is to work hard, but to play harder. It’s not just fun and laughs though, as these young men slowly mature and go through major life-changing events, like marriage, fatherhood, careers, illness, and loss. Their unmistakable bond of friendship ensures they are never alone when dealing with anything traumatic.
I would not recommend this book to children, as it contains strong language and sexual references, but if you are a fan of adventure, travel, reading about friendships and relationships, this book will be a delightful addition to your library.
My favorite object in the book is the ‘pink bracelet’, but you will have to read the book yourself to know what it is about…
There is absolutely nothing I would change about this book. The editing is flawless, and the storyline is spellbinding. I have read so many rave reviews, and I agree with them all! Man Mission irrefutably deserves a solid 4 out of 4 stars.
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