The Martian, by Andy Weir
If I were a movie, what would I be rated? R
Summary: 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 the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years 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’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth. As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.
This was a very interesting book to read because, as far as I know, it’s all accurate. It seems realistic. But I also feel like I must acknowledge that I wouldn’t know if it weren’t. This is a good thing for the author. As a reader, you just assume the author knows what they’re talking about. And the amount of math and sciencing Watney does to survive is impressive as all get out, but do I have a way of knowing if the math and science is realistic and accurate? No. No, I do not. The amount of math and science thrown at you in this book is enough to make one’s eyes cross at times. I can only assume it’s all accurate. Otherwise, Weir pulled a good one over me.
Hilarious at times, Mark had a good, strong voice. Sadly, most of the third person scenes weren’t as great as they could’ve been. But they did offer a break when reading about Mark felt a bit much, which it did for me towards the end.
I freely admit to watching the movie before reading this. I think the movie had a stronger ending but, overall, this book was good. Considering 75 percent of the book relied on one person all alone with their thoughts to keep you invested, Weir did a great job.
What some people might be uncomfortable reading about in this book because of personal opinion or belief: enough f bombs to make this rated R. Otherwise, there were only five or less sexual comments and it was generally just about Mark surviving Mars. Pretty clean read, considering.