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4.5 out of 5 stars71
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on 15 August 2009
Glancing at the reviews for this book, I noticed that they are remarkably polarised - either '5 stars, it changed my life' or '1 star, borderline heresy'. I read the book a few years ago and then as now I can sympathise somewhat with both extremes.

The negative reviewers seem to have approached the book expecting to find fault with it, and indeed there are faults to be found. Eldredge's Biblical exposition is often simplistic and selective. Also, he's clearly a very outdoors-y kind of man, and most of his specific examples about manliness seem to reflect that.

Nevertheless, although I'm very different from the author in temperament and interests, I found that a lot of his insights about the nature of manliness really ring true. His summary that deep down men want a battle to fight, an adventure to go on, and a beauty to win hits the spot as far as I'm concerned. Of course all of these can be directed in a worldly direction and some of Eldredge's examples seem to do so.

But if the battle is against sin, the world and the devil, and the adventure is discovering and carrying out God's will in your life, these can be biblical, Godly desires. In my own case God has used these desires to lead me to live and witness for him overseas. And as for the desire for beauty, it drives me to try to cherish my wife and enrich our marriage as much as possible.

The reason this book has made such an impact is that it scratches where many men are itching and is honest about the problem the western church has with the role of men. I don't think all it's answers are correct, but when it was written there simply weren't any books covering the same ground. I look forward to reading some that provide more biblical reflection on these issues, but in the meantime this is worth reading if only to get you thinking.

In summary: is some of Eldredge's use of the Bible flawed? Certainly. But does he have valid insights into men's needs and identity? Undoubtedly. As with any Christian book you should read this critically with the Bible alongside, but if you do you'll benefit from it.
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on 17 August 2004
Personally I found this book immensely helpful, speaking to masculine emotions and issues in a way that other "how to" Christian books just don't quite reach. So many times I have felt deflated when simply trying harder to be a man after God's heart didn't work - this book was genuinely helpful in sewing the various compartments of my life back into one seamless whole and helping me to be honest about my desires and hopes to God. However, if you want the proof of the pudding - ask my wife! She's recommended it to more women than I have men, and I've given away about 7 copies now....
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on 21 October 2003
Where did men get the idea that we have to sacrifice our masculinity to be "good Christians"? In an age where gender roles are increasingly smudged and distorted, would you rather be a spineless, toothless Nice Guy or a Manly Man with a solid identity and knowledge of God's purpose in your life?
John Eldredge challenges us as Christian men to rediscover the passions of our youth. Christianity is not a prison of rules, regulations and restrictions; it is a battle to be won, an adventure to be experienced.
Eldredge puts us in front of a mirror that reflects the person we were meant to be. He enhances a sound scriptural base with an eclectic collection of movie clips, song lyrics, poetry and literature. (...)P>While this book will be most beneficial to men, I think women will get a lot out of this book as well, getting a better idea of how their man is really wired.
No more Mister Nice Guy. Get Wild!
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on 13 June 2007
I found this book very encouraging and insightful.

Men are not supposed to be the bland and benign nice guys the world and the church has insisted they be. God intended men to be dangerous and to fight for what is right, to win the heart of their wife, and together to embark on the adventure that life is.

Eldridge also does a great job in explaining where masculinity has gone wrong and how to help our sons to avoid the same mistakes.

This book was so good I read it twice.
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on 12 November 2006
I can honestly say that this is possibly one of the best books I've ever read.

Its rare that I find myself reading a book and agreeing with almost everything said, being challenged to the point that I am thinking about it all night long, laughing at some bits (with relief) and sobbing at other parts.

At first the book seems sexist, at first it seems wide from the mark, but as you work through it it turns from this to a book of great challenge and gentle guidance. Its also one of those books that you have to read at least twice straight off.

Really if you are struggling with the question of men or masculinity this is an essential.
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on 2 June 2003
This is a fantastic book. It deals with the universal feelings in men of deep anger, inadequacy and often lust. Men want to be men but seem to be born with a limp - never quite being able to be manly from the core of their beings. The result is a pretence: Macho man, effeminacy or as most wives can relate to an irresponsible inertia. The book leads men to be honest about this paralysis and directs the way to freedom - to be wild at heart as they were created to be.
Not just for men, it deals with women’s brokenness and will help them to understand their men's.
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on 12 September 2003
This is an amazing book. Showing men that they can be who they know they really are. Deals with letting men be men, so that women can be women. May sound very sexist, but is infact highly liberating. This book is very freeing for men that read it, and for women that read it wow, you'll know what a man is & should be. Would highly recommend it. Buy one for yourself, read it & then pass it on! It is a book to share.
Will liberate Men everywhere!! Revolutionary.
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on 24 January 2006
It's amazing how many times reading this book I exclaimed "Yes, absolutely, that's what I've known all along!" As a woman, I found it an immensely liberating book. It seems at first like a first class sexist rant, but on closer inspection you realise that it is far from being that. This book is sensitive and passionate at the same time. An absolute must for men.. but you'll have to keep a close eye on it or the women in your life will whisk it off you!
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on 7 March 2003
This is also wonderful book for women to read. It gives tremondous insight into the heart of a man which often seems closed of. Not only will you learn how to help and suport the men in your life, but you will also learn about yourself as a women. Any women who has a husband or a son needs to read this book.
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on 27 January 2003
Eldredge has written a book that challenges men to stand up, to not conform to the world, to not become the image that man wants man to be but rather to fill the boots that God made for us. We are able. We are a wonderful creation and we have the ability to return to the source and thank Him by acknowledging Him by becoming men, true men. He uses films and books as references, such as Gladiator and Braveheart. The best quote is 'the four things a man doesn't need at sea - an anchor, oars, a sail - and the fear of going down.' Its a very good read.
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