While in college, a group of four young men establish a tradition: every year, they take a week-long adventure trip together. They go hiking, biking, or kayaking, traveling all around the world. They call it their Man Mission, an annual ritual that they keep for fifteen years.
In the course of their travels, they hitch a ride with drug dealers in New Zealand, down kava shots on Fijian beaches, come face-to-face with a roaring lion in South Africa, luxuriate in a resort intended only for Vietnamese Communist officials, trek to Machu Picchu, and go ice climbing in Iceland. Over the years, they get married, start families, establish careers, and do all the stuff upright men are supposed to do. But when the challenges of real life come into conflict with the perfect lives they are supposed to be living, the yearly Man Mission becomes more than an annual getaway. It’s a source of stability and a place to find redemption.
Part travel narrative and part roman à clef, this novel follows four regular guys as they find adventure together, and seek meaning and purpose, in a world where the traditional rules of “being a man” are no longer clear.
“5 out of 5 stars”—Foreword Clarion Reviews
“A fast-moving, fresh, multi-faceted story of exploration”
—Louise Herron AM, CEO, Sydney Opera House
“A candid account of a man’s viewpoint—4 out of 4 stars” —Online Book Club
“Lively and well-told”—Blue Ink Review
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About the Author
Eytan Uliel is a global traveler and seriously committed gourmand. After graduating from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, he practiced corporate law for several years, before moving on to a career in investment banking, private equity, and oil and gas finance. He chronicles his travels on his blog, The Road Warrior. Born in Jerusalem, he currently divides his time among Los Angeles, Nassau, and Sydney.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite Man Mission is a work of engaging personal fiction written by author Eytan Uliel, which encompasses “Four men, fifteen years, one epic journey”. The tale focuses on a group of young friends who promise themselves a yearly taste of adventure, no matter where life leads them. In their younger years, the lads find themselves luckily escaping some scrapes and luxuriously enjoying others, but as the years go on the adventure takes on a new meaning. As they find themselves adjusting to their lives in the roles of husbands, colleagues, fathers and more, the trip becomes a symbol of how to reaffirm and redefine their manhood among the friends they know so well. More than a tale about men or women, this is a book about friendship and its importance. Author Eytan Uliel writes with a poignant perspective reminiscent of Kerouac, reflecting on the human condition and the choices we make in our lives. None of these men fit the mold of what men are allegedly supposed to be, and he celebrates that difference and honors each one in their own way. Though some of their adventures are crazy, this a very real story about important bonds that are lifelong, and it is compassionately told from beginning to end. When we are struggling for perfection in our lives, Uliel’s expertly drafted prose and dialogue remind us that it’s okay to fall short of the ideal and pursue stability and happiness instead. Overall, I would highly recommend Man Mission to readers of all ages.
Reviewed by Shaul Behr for Readers' Favorite What do you get when you cross a Bill Bryson travelogue with John Gray’s Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus? The answer would be something pretty close to Eytan Uliel’s Man Mission, a captivating story of four men who develop an annual tradition of going away together on testosterone-fueled, grueling, extreme, exhilarating, and above all, manly getaways. But it’s not just about their adrenaline-filled experiences in exotic locations; the story ties in with their personal lives: their respective careers, their relationships, dreams, and disappointments. How do their girlfriends and wives feel about these getaways? How do the men deal with each other, and their respective attitudes? What will they do for each other when the chips are down? Man Mission has a number of outstanding qualities. First, it is written beautifully. Uliel has a superb command of English, and the prose is thoroughly enjoyable to read. Second, it is fun. The adventures of our four heroes are exhilarating, and the dialogue is realistic, witty, and often hilarious. Third, it is deeply human and thought-provoking. It’s not just that it’s charmingly irreverent about the characters’ flaws; it deals frankly with their human emotions and frailties in all their vulnerable beauty. And it gets dark at points; at times I found myself squirming at the shocking behavior of the main character. But beneath all the bravado, adventure, wit, and testosterone, it is about human beings, for better or for worse. While I rate it a solid five stars, it comes with a “mature audience” alert: there are no explicit scenes, but a significant part of the narrative deals with sexual issues, and the dialogue is liberally peppered with strong language. It is a thoroughly excellent book, a curious but well-executed blend of fun and adventure with serious and thought-provoking human issues.
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite Man Mission: Four Men, Fifteen Years, One Epic Journey by Eytan Uliel is an insightful and fascinating journey of four men from Australia - Sam, Daniel, Alec, and the author - who decide to go on a week-long trip every year together. The Man Mission, as they call it, is an adventure and tradition they continue for fifteen years. The book chronicles the adventures and challenges experienced by these men as they get away together, and will take readers to some exotic locations and exciting experiences that will keep them glued to the book till the very last page. Whether it is the remote countryside in New Zealand or the Fijian beaches, or their trek to Machu Picchu and other exciting places, the author takes readers not only into their adventures but also how over the years they start working, get married, and start families. The book captures their friendship, bonding, and camaraderie, and the author weaves their different lives seamlessly together as the friends seek a meaning and purpose to their lives while they travel together. Their traveling adventures also highlight their growth and discovery skills as they learn to live and adjust to the changes they experience while traveling and after traveling. The book is honest, simple, and straightforward, and it also reveals the lifelong bonding these men share in spite of the different situations they go through in their lives. The narration is descriptive and detailed and that makes the scenes vivid. The narrative is also peppered with laughter and fun. It is quite interesting to note how four friends go through their everyday lives and break the monotony of their daily routine by going on annual trips to interesting locations and do something that is outside their comfort zone. The story is real and readers will be able to connect with the author's words.