“Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. ‘Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.'”
I am so glad that I finally read The Martian. I’ve somehow ended up with a lot of current reads at the same time but this is the one that I just couldn’t put down, and I am home sick from work today so I knew I would end up finishing. I think that at this point with the upcoming film and all of the book’s hype, most of you seeing this will know the basic premise: A mission to Mars fails and in the aftermath one astronaut of the six-member crew gets left behind, presumed dead, but of course he is very much alive and has to figure out how to attempt to survive (and evade starvation) on Mars with very limited supplies. Luckily, he’s incredibly inventive and resourceful, but just when you think that it cannot possibly get any worse for Mark Watney, something else will happen that he will need to deal with and adapt to. Watney (who I could not avoid picturing as Matt Damon because of the movie casting) is as upbeat as one in his situation could possibly be and is an extremely lovable character.
A few reviews that I’ve seen have taken issue with the fact that there are a lot of puns, jokes, and other remarks that are silly and nerdy and detract from the seriousness of the subject matter and Weir’s excellent writing. I happened to love the way the entire book was structured and these glimpses into Watney’s psyche during all the time he spent alone. I think that his sense of humor is what kept him from going completely insane and it made perfect sense for that to be recorded. In between all of the jokes and puns I found that the actual science behind The Martian was well-researched, logical, and likely. In the readers’ guide at the back of the paperback that I bought, Andy Weir explains that the way initial mission at the beginning of the book was structured is the most likely way that a manned mission to Mars will occur when that does end up happening.
I gave The Martian 5 stars. I cannot wait for the movie to come out in October and I really hope that it does the book justice. The Martian is the type of sci-fi book categorized as “real science” or “hard science fiction” because it is based on accurate research and a plausible plot. Because of this, I think that readers who might not ordinarily turn to sci-fi would still appreciate Weir’s excellent crafting of Watney’s survival tale.