Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.

Everyone knows how dangerous space travel is. But what would you do when you were stranded on Mars, with the nearest point for help four years and 3000 km away?

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian book-cover

Title & Author: The Martian by Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure
Release Date: Fabruary 11 2014
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Crown Publishing

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 started The Martian by Andy Weir, wanting to see what the hype was about and I wanted to read it before I saw the movie. At first I was disturbed by the fact it was only log entries about a guy on Mars. But soon I noticed most scientific knowledge was true. I liked that about it. Then it started to add scenes from NASA, telling the other side of the story. I just loved the writing. It is fast paced and funny. Andy Weir writes knows how to write a great scientific story with fun. It is not one problem after the other, but the things that go wrong have good reasons to go wrong.

You notice the character of Mark Watney is the main character and the others were “added in” later. Mark is a deep, well done character. But his crew mates only became real for me when they said hi to their families almost at the end of the book and the people at NASA did not come to live for me at all. Maybe it was because that POV was in third person and Marks log entries were from the first person. It just made it more real, I think.

I do have to write a warning here. If you do not like scientific novels, this book can be very dry for you. I really enjoyed all the facts and calculations, but that is me. I understand it when people do not like it. I for example do not like stories with too much politics in them – for example Foundation by Isaac Asimov.

To conclude this part of the book review, I would like to point out this interview with Andy Weir. You can see how funny his writing through this interview.

Why Andy Weir is funny

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”

LOG ENTRY: SOL 61 How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.”

“The screen went black before I was out of the airlock. Turns out the “L” in “LCD” stands for “Liquid.” I guess it either froze or boiled off. Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.”

“Everything went great right up to the explosion.”

“They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially ‘colonised’ it. So technically, I colonised Mars.
In your face, Neil Armstrong!”

I think I just love this guys humor!

I most definitely will look up if I can read more by him, because he also seems to be this funny in real life!

The Movie

I have not seen this movie. It is on my list to watch. As soon as I have the time. The actors in the cast are great, so I am looking forward to it.

Let me know what you thought of this book and/or the movie!
If you have any requests for which book I should talk about next, please let me know in the comments down below.

For now, let books enrich your life!


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