Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Martian - Weir

Title: The Martian

Author: Andy Weir
Published: Genre: Fiction

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Book Source: Borrowed from the library

Recommended if you like: Memoir,  Books about loss, Books about medical adversity

What Its About:  
A brutal Mars sandstorm forces the Ares 3 crew to evacuate abruptly. Unfortunately, one of their crew, Mark Watney, gets hit by debris and is killed in the process.

Except that...he isn't. Dead that is.

When Watney wakes and discovers himself, alone and abandoned on Mars, he must quickly transition his Mars visit to a survival mission. Through his journal entries, we learn how he utilizes his skills and knowledge (engineering and botany) to orchestrate his own survival mission. By utilizing earth and Mars dirt, and a few potatoes that were sent for Thanksgiving dinner, he begins a garden focused solely on producing calories to extend his lifespan until the arrival of the Mars 4 mission four years out. He utilizes old parts and manages to establish communication with NASA on Earth and, along with  NASA scientists, orchestrates a plan to get him home. But its not a smooth process and Watney keeps being reminded that he may well die before he is able to complete his mission!

The Bottom Line: 
A no-win situation for the author, in my opinion.  Its one of those books that is just bound to be hated. If Watney dies, everyone is angry and let down... But if he lives, everyone rolls their eyes and says, "Yeh, of course he'd live...ho hum." Thankfully, the journey is well worth the ride..

Weir does his best to keep the excitement and challenge going until the end, and does so very effectively.  The story really grabs readers' attention. Just technical enough to be realistic, but also funny and entertaining.  A great read!


Esme said...

Thank you for your kind words-my heart just breaks for her.