4 out of 4 stars
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After casual conversations about making yearly trips to exotic locations, Eytan and his friend Sam decided to take an impromptu hiking trip to New Zealand. With very poor planning done before the trip, things don’t go as smoothly as they had originally hoped. Nevertheless, they decide to make a yearly tradition of this type of rugged adventure and thus the Man Mission is born. The two friends are later joined by two more guys, Alec and Daniel, as they continue to find more challenging feats to accomplish in increasingly more bizarre locations.
Man Mission: Four Men, Fifteen Years, One Epic Journey by Eytan Uliel not only catalogs the fifteen different Man Missions that these men partake in, but it also chronicles their everyday events that happen in between the adventures. This happens through flashbacks that typically correlate with something that is happening on the Man Mission. The man’s perspective is honest and soul-bearing at times and I enjoyed having a better understanding of the pressures and responsibilities that Eytan experienced.
I found this book to be very entertaining, not only because of the different adventures that the men partook of, but also because there was humor sprinkled in mundane places. The descriptions of the different locations that they visited were vividly described and left me feeling like I had also explored these areas. It was also enjoyable, if not cringe-worthy, to read about the crazy stunts and decisions that were made throughout.
One aspect that I really enjoyed was how the Man Missions mirrored things that were going on in Eyton’s life. Yes, the book chronicles the often crazy and haphazard Man Missions, but it also looks closely at the heart and soul of the main character. The struggles he faced throughout the years, the fear and anxiety and boredom from work, and the desire to provide for his family are all continuously on his mind and the Man Missions gave him the chance to reflect on his life.
I give this book 4 out of 4 stars because of the realness that this book showed me. I liked the raw honestly of Eytan and the gorgeous descriptions of the various locales. The book was well-edited throughout and I did not observe any major mistakes. Near the middle of the book, I did feel like things became somewhat monotonous. Even though the adventures were different, the formula for each chapter remained the same. The pace picked up again after a few chapters and I was hooked until the end. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good adventure, but also likes to keep things real.
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