4 out of 4 stars
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Man Mission is an engrossing tale that follows the lives of four friends who hike through different places around the world yearly over a span of fifteen years. At first, it looked like a total waste of time due to the almost disastrous outcome of the first trip but eventually, it came to cement a special role in their lives. It's a tale of persistence, resilience, humor, adventure, brotherhood and a deeper understanding of the concept of machoism.
The author, Eytan Uliel is quite adept at world building and I was quickly sucked into tours with the characters through his descriptions. Their easy camaraderie jumped right off the pages. I became hooked from the first chapter and loved the little twists woven in between chapters. For instance, when they came face to face with malicious eyes on page 12, my mouth was practically in my mouth until the danger turned out to be harmless cows. I couldn’t help but chuckle afterwards. I also loved the way he switched between the past and present in the story without breaking flow.
At first, I found the character, Sam to be grossly insensitive but later on realised that he was plagued with the male chauvinism which is synonymous with many men in our society. He never wanted to show his weakness and mocked those who did. It felt like seeing the minds of men in technicolor vision. They would make stupid moves and even though they knew it, they still could not control the drive that pushed them. I must commend the author's efforts at portraying his characters in a bare and candid way and stylishly proposing a healthier and more realistic model for modern men in our society to follow.
When the main character confessed to his mother that being a man meant wearing a mask in society, I felt it. There are so many lessons to gain from this book and the confusion he faced with a job decision and what to do with his life sounded all too familiar. It's a situation many of us have grappled with at some point in our lives.
It's a relatable tale that ended on a realistic note. I loved the dialogue, funny emails, the Pink Bracelet, Sumo wrestling and numerous tidbits peppered throughout the pages. It's a beautiful contemporary fiction.
I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars and absolutely recommend it to lovers of travel tales, adventure and basically anyone who's looking to read a good book.
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