The Martian by Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Publication Date: 2014
Source: Copy provided by publisher
The Short Version:
A castaway story with a twist has Astronaut Mark Watney trying to stay alive on Mars.
Why I Read It:
So many people I know and trust were loving this book that I just had to read it.
From the publisher:
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 and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and 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—and 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 was worried about starting this one because so many people I know loved it. This can often lead to expectations that are too high and disappointment. That did not happen with this book. I loved it. As soon as I finished it I handed it to The Hubster and said “this is your next book”.
Inadvertently abandoned alone on Mars, Mark Watney ends up being a hero with a wicked sense of humor. I was shocked at how often I giggled while reading this story of a man possibly doomed to a horrible lonely death. Mark quickly settles in to assess his situation and continually revises his plans for surviving until an attempt can be made to rescue him.
After one experimental venture that didn’t work out as well as he hoped Mark says:
Once I got home, I sulked for a while. All my brilliant plans foiled by thermodynamics. Damn you, Entropy.
Yes there’s plenty of science stuff in this book but it’s not techno gobbledygook. Weir manages to walk that line that keeps us non-sciency folk from drifting off with “Oh look, something shiny” yet still be accurate enough that sciency folk like my chemist husband don’t get ocular cramps from the eye rolling.
It’s a great suspense thriller that kept me enthralled all the way through. I highly recommend this one.