By: Andy Weir
Published: February 11, 2014
Publisher: Broadway Books
It was certainly timely for NASA to announce this week that they have evidence of running water on Mars. That means life is possible on Mars, which makes THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir even more plausible. Even though I typically don’t care for science fiction books, I gave this one a try after reading so many great reviews. The trailer for the movie version, which comes out October 2, 2015, shows Matt Damon finding a way to survive on Mars and intrigued me to check out the book. I’m so thankful I did because I absolutely loved it. I’m anxious to see the movie and see if it is as well done as the book.
Mark Watney and his fellow Ares 3 crew face a dust storm during their time on Mars, His crew has to make the heart-breaking decision to leave him behind when they assume he is dead. Mark awakens to find himself stranded on Mars with no way to contact NASA and no way to survive for the next few years on Mars.
Most of the book is Mark having a dialogue with himself and his journal entries describing his days on Mars. He is rational, literal and absolutely hilarious in his daily struggles to survive. I loved his sarcasm. Nothing is easy for Mark as he tries to find ways to create and store water, make oxygen, and grow potatoes, But, each failure breeds a success and a new way for him to survive. He spends his days watching 70’s TV like “Dukes of Hazard” and “Three’s Company” thanks to a flash drive full of them, His sarcastic comments related to these shows will make you laugh out loud.
NASA obviously assumes Mark is dead until a staff person who monitors the Mars satellite notices that items on Mars are moving. As she is put on daily watch, she realizes that Mark is in fact alive. The book then moves back and forth, giving us NASA’s perspective as they try to find ways to get Mark home alive.
This book grabs your attention from the first page. It is fast-paced, creative, and full of technical detail that I actually found really interesting. Fans of the NASA space program and survival stories will find this a captivating story that will have you wanting to read it all in one sitting. Think of THE MARTIAN as a combination of “Apollo 13” and “Castaway”.
Favorite Quote: “I’ll spend the rest of the evening enjoying a potato. And by ‘enjoying’ I mean ‘hating so much I want to kill people.'”
Check out the movie trailer:
|Andy Weir – source|
Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. THE MARTIAN is his first novel. For more on the author, check out his website, HERE.
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