4 out of 4 stars
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In Eytan Uliel’s Man Mission, four Australian best friends travel the world for fifteen years. Every year they agree on a different exotic location. The rules of Man Mission start off simple: men-only, push your limits, bathing optional, etc. Eventually, the rules get more complicated. The Pink Bracelet is worn as a punishment for taking the easy way out or excessive whining! The missions began as rugged getaways and evolved into a tradition blending masculinity with nature and brotherhood. All of the men share a purpose. They visit Machu Picchu, Japan, Taiwan, and many more locations.
The book is organized and follows a predictable sequence for each chapter. The first page has two epigraphs, one being a Christian bible verse. Next is a simple illustrated map of the trip’s region. Following this map, there is a brief snapshot of a key moment in that particular mission, in medias res. Events leading up to this mission are next, followed by the actual mission and how it went. The chapters always wrap up with “MM Vital Statistics”: location, means of travel, accommodations, and injuries sustained.
The only downside to this book is bartering in the timeline. Even though each chapter has a certain sequence as I mentioned before, the plot tends to jump back and forth, which is distracting. For example, while in the heart of one of the trips, the next paragraph will touch on events that happened months before, and then returns to whatever is told to the reader in the present. Yes, these flashbacks are related and connected to the Man Missions, but it makes it hard for me to remember what happened in the characters’ lives and when.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I only found a few errors. There is no doubt that this book is professionally edited. I find the philosophy within to be captivating. Each man is entertaining because he is not afraid to stray from the group or of making wayward decisions. It is filled with euphemisms and metaphors that make situations personal and reader-friendly. The best aspect is the imagery. Uliel does a wonderful job of painting a picture in my mind’s eye of these beautiful facets of nature that I have never seen. It is almost as if I am on the Man Mission myself, right there with them!
I recommend this book to other men, of course. Though I am a woman I do not feel that only men can enjoy this, because I did! I caution readers of drug use and possession within. This book will make you want to travel to these exotic locations if you have not already, so travel gurus are welcome. Those that enjoy outdoor recreation will also enjoy this. Historians will want to pick this up as well. These Man Missions can provide valuable insight into life and relationships that connect us all, no matter what corner of the world you come from:
******The characters in every story must exit at some point, and then we have no choice but to let them go, however painful that may be. - (Location 5066)
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