Man Mission

4 men, 15 years, 1 epic journey

Fiction - General
376 Pages
Reviewed on 02/17/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Eytan Uliel is a wanderer, 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.

An extensive work travel schedule has taken Eytan to every corner of the globe – over 70 countries, and counting. His successful blog – The Road Warrior – chronicles these journeys through a series of short stories and essays, some of which have been republished in various magazines and newspapers.

Man Mission is his debut novel. Eytan was born in Jerusalem, and has lived in Australia, Singapore, the UK, The Bahamas, and the USA. He currently splits his time between Los Angeles, The Bahamas and Sydney.

    Book Review

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.

Mamta Madhavan

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.

Shaul Behr

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.