The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian: A Novel
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.
It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission 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 get him first.
But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
For someone who doesn't like space, never wanted to be an astronaut, really doesn't want to ever have to think about leaving the earth, doesn't care about any of that I wasn't really sure if this would be my kind of book. I am just not a fan of space and space things, but The Martian was amazing! When I told my husband I was reading it he assumed I was reading it for book club. When I told him I was just reading it for fun he just looked at me like really? That is the kind of book you usually read. I said I know, but it is amazing. The author made something that I really have no interest in, something that I just shouldn't have enjoyed especially with how technical it was, and turned it into a story that I couldn't put down. The Martian was so much fun to read. Sure it got to be a bit ridiculous by the end, but the main character was so amusing to read. I loved it.
The Martian is about a guy, Watney, who gets left on Mars by himself. Everyone thought he was dead when they left, but he survived. So now he has to figure out how to stay alive until the next planned mission to Mars (plus how to get to that landing site since it is kind of far away). Plus he has no way of contacting anyone as his communications systems were destroyed or left with everyone else. For a book about a guy trying to survive on Mars it was quite humorous. Watney was so funny! The whole story was just littered with these hilarious parts. I loved it.
"[said by one of the guys on earth] 'He thinks he's totally alone and that we all gave up on him.'. . .
[another guy on earth] 'I wonder what he's thinking right now.'
Log entry: SOL 61
[Watney] How come Aquaman can control whales? They're mammals! Makes no sense."
Loved it! Or when Watney takes a laptop out onto the surface of Mars.
"Maybe I'll post a consumer review. 'Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10'"
Watney was just so much fun. The situations he gets himself into and the things he does, how he goes about them, all amazing. He also make some simple mistakes, things I could see myself doing if I were in that situation which really made him likable to me (not that I would be or would have all his knowledge to even start surviving by myself). With a different personality, a different person left behind, I am sure I would not have enjoyed this story as much as I did. Most of the book is Watney's log entries and they get really technical. He plans out all of his calculations for everything he is doing with all the math and such he needs. Thinking about it it seems like that should have been tedious because he has a lot of planning he does, but it really was entertaining to read. I loved all of it and while I don't know much about space travel it seems like the author really did his research. Most of the plans and calculations seemed logical and like they would be correct. But as I said I am not an expert by any means, but it seemed realistic to me.
Then every once and a while Watney's log entries would get interrupted by a chapter from earth and what is going on there. They were so jarring to me, especially the first one. It took me a few minutes to get over the change in the story as I was so used to Watney's voice. Those were interesting as well and again kind of eye opening if they are accurate with how things work with NASA and space travel. I never realized how long it takes to get things ready to go to space before. Like a care package of food. It seems like that should be fairly easy to throw together, but in the story it takes so long! I am sure the author did his research and it seems like yeah okay, everything you are saying makes sense I just never thought of it before. Really an interesting read especially since I never had any interest in this before now.
So Watney on Mars. So much fun to read. He is one lucky guy. He really is. By the end of the story I was just like okay, this is getting a bit ridiculous, but it was so much fun I didn't really care. Really I think the story is kind of cheesy in parts, but realistic at the same time. It is an odd combination that I loved. The very end got to be a bit much for me, plus I didn't like where it ended. The last few pages, Watney's little speech thing just didn't work for me. It kind of ruined the ending for me a little bit. Overall though it was a really fun read.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2