Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Science Fiction
Setting: Sometime in the near’ish future on Mars.
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
I’ve picked and picked trying to find something about this book that I didn’t like. I like to present a balanced review and find at least one negative thing in a positive review and vice versa. Still picking…
Mark Watney is stranded on Mars. He’s alone and he has a finite amount of water and food to sustain his life. I think this realization would make most people take a quick, unprotected walk out an airlock. Mark, however, is a genius, but not only that, he’s inventive and he has the best attitude of any character in any book ever. He doesn’t give up hope and he figures out ways to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Still, it’s Mars. It’s a barren planet with no life, no breathable air, no food and, no water. How much time can he have? How many great ideas can one person think up on his own? Everybody has their limit and being the only human in sight, that ceiling has to be pretty low.
I think it’s safe to say that this is the most entertaining book I’ve read so far this year. I laughed at Mark’s wit, I cracked my knuckles at the suspense, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I seriously, and I’m being serious here, was tempted to turn to the last page to see if Mark survives. I don’t DO spoilers!!! I resisted, but it was a near thing.
The really crazy thing about this book is that Andy Weir originally self-published it on his blog as a serial. Free. The Martian went from being the blog posts of a science geek to a bestseller to a movie starring Matt Damon. Insane, right? I really couldn’t give this book higher praise. Put it at the top of your TBR if you haven’t already read it!