The Martian by Andy Weir

January 29, 2021 Reviews 0 ★★★★★

The Martian by Andy WeirThe Martian (The Martian #1) by Andy Weir
Published: September 27th 2012 by Broadway Books
Format: Ebook, 387 pages
Genres: Science Fiction
Source: Purchased
GoodreadsBookworld
5 Stars

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?

A book that features maths and potatoes. Can’t get much better, can it?

Weir combines a fascinating premise with witty and humorous narration to weave a tale of human ingenuity and survival against the worst odds — an entire planet trying to kill one astrobotanist. The use of Watney’s mission logs, transcripts and letters as a narration tool was especially clever, allowing the author to balance the action between Mars, Earth, and the Hermes.

The plot wasn’t a surprise (I watched the movie first) but the storytelling was. The mathematical and engineering problems captured my imagination — there’s a sense of urgency each time Watney tells us how long his supplies will last, and a sense of relief what that number is greater than the number of days until rescue arrives.

I loved the supporting cast. While this is definitely Watney’s story, I enjoyed the glimpses into NASA and JPL as they tried to bring him home (complete with the politics and media struggles), and the way the crew of the Hermes supported him without question.

The Martian is an excellent read, even if you’ve already watched the movie like me. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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