(★★★★ – 4 of 5 stars)
Since I’ve been a lazy girl lately and I’m still vacation’s mode on, my pal Andrew has tagged along and wrote an amazing review on The Martian of Andy Weir – You should definitely read this before the movie comes to air this year!!!!
Hope you enjoy Andrew’s remarks as much as I did! 😉
Hello Guys, happy to share some thoughts about The Martian and to be here with you all…. (Trish is amazing, isn´t she??).
The Martian is a fast-pace, multiple-perspective book about Mark Watney, an astronaut visiting mars in a 6-man mission when a wind-storm leave him stranded on the red planet all alone on the 6th sol (day) of the mission. How cool for a start is that? Cool set-up uh? Nevertheless, is a page turner that will grab your attention and will not leave you until the very last word.
The author, Andy Weir wrote this book and self-publish it. So extra points for that….
I felt inspired during the book, I have to admit. Inspired about the possibilities beyond our planet, daydreaming about what we will achieve in the next decades. I felt for a while like how people should had felt in the 60´s during the space program and the cold war. Why did we stop going further and further into space after the moon ¿? – hopefully the space program will go further in the incoming years (I´m looking at you SpaceX). Mind that while I was reading, the New Horizons space probe was reaching Pluto and Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra (Pluto´s moons). So yes, I´m a astronomical nerd! So I have reasons to enjoy this book… because you know, reason!
Soooo, back to The Martian. The books works! Works so well that a movie is in development with Ridley Scott (Yes! Aliens Scott) behind the cameras and Matt Damon (That´s ok, I would love to see Sam Rockwell – did you saw MOON – WHOA!) as Mark Watney: Please Hollywood, do not screw this one…
Before taking this book into your hands you have to know that this is not your typical book with a narrator where you see everything through his/her eyes. This is a survival log and a book about an engineer, so things are described to us like an engineer would: I know, sound boring! But is not, Watney have a funny and light personality and makes you to root for him since the start.
There is a huge amount of attention to detail on the Science (highly appreciated), and only some deliberate inaccuracy that the author admitted, of course, all for dramatic purposes. So, the drama is there, but also a great deal of science, surviving and jokes. Highly recommended.
So – let’s get a little more technical.
THIS is the place where you STOP if haven’t read the book, because I can get some SPOILERS over the lines!
Things that I liked about The Martian ✔︎:
1) The potatoes! Hahaha – I mean, the fact that Watney managed to create a crop inside the hab was so cool. Is just an example of how well Weir did his research, a fact that help us to trust Watney and to believe he have the capacity to do the MacGyverish things he does. It is fun to see how he creates water or how he reach Sol 459 doing problem solving constantly. According to some reddittors most of the terminology and math and stuff was spot on, so I will take their word for it (and so you should to, everything in the internet is true wink-wink).
2) The multiple-perspective. Since not only Watney is present through his logs but also Venkat Kapoor and all the crew of the Hermes. It gives you a more whole picture of the story and makes you root even more for the success of the mission.
3) Addictiveness. From page 1 until the last word I wanted to know what´s next. It is a typical page turner and that is AWESOME! Who does not like that…. I mean, it is the main reason we (most of us) read.
4) Watney itself. The character is somewhat flat, I will talk about that later. However I adored reading about a character in a shit situation who is looking at the positives, not the negatives: “He must be so lonely up there, I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”
“Why can Aquaman talk to whales?” 🙂
5) The struggle within NASA. That´s how the world function in my opinion. At least it is how my day job function, a constant struggle to make things happen, difficulty after difficulty that people have to sort out in order to achieve an objective.
6) Duct Tape… because uhmm. Duct Tape!
Things that I did not liked about The Martian ✘:
A) No arc or development for the characters. Watney, Kapoor, the crew of the Hermes and everyone else stayed the same even thou some time passed (more than a year and a half). So you are telling me that I´m stranded with no human contact for a long period of time and I´m not going a bit insane…? Maybe not physics but some psychology is missing.
B) It’s no literature masterpiece. And I’m being unfair here. We cannot expect every book to be the best book ever.
C) Some of the dialogues are way-out there. I cannot image people in JPL talking like a robot or like being in Apollo 13 movie-set. I was too grandiose for my taste.
So yes! This a 4/5 for me. A good read for a casual reader and a great read for a geek (if you are not one of those that looks for every mistake and complaints about everything). Overall: awesome book.
If you want to ask something to the author or say anything about the book, you can do it through the Reddit IAMA – Here’s the direct link to it:
So, just to close it up an inspirational quote… (Cheesy right?).
Anyhow, Randall Munroe, the former NASA roboticist and Cartoonist once said:
“The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there’s no good reason to go into space – each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.”
As always… thanks for reading.