The Martian (2011) – Andy Weir: 4/5
Mark Watney you are a God. I love you. And that is all I have to say.
Wait, actually, no there’s more! There’s more I have to say but I’m finding it pretty hard right now because this book was so goooooood.
Well, long story short: an astronaut by the name of Mark Watney, is stranded on Mars. A huge storm threatens the lives of the crew and, believing he is dead, they have to abort the mission and get off the planet before they all die. For the rest of the novel Watney has to figure out how he is supposed to survive on Mars, by himself, for years and years until the next team arrive… Everything looks pretty hopeless doesn’t it, but Watney is a botanist. The finest in the land, and he is going to survive no matter what it takes.
Did I mention that Mark Watney is hilarious, and for this reason alone I HIGHLY recommend this read. The film with Matt Damon comes out October-ish I think, so if you haven’t already heard about it then you’ve heard it from me so, go, go, go!
If I were to pick one problem with this book it would be the science. Now, I am no scientist, I’m a historian and we do things a little differently. So, I cannot attest to the accuracy of all that is written in The Martian. I can say, however, that it all seemed pretty damned believable to me and I mostly understood it… mostly. Weir would have 5 stars from me, if it wasn’t for the sheer amount of science. It is all highly appropriate to the story, after all we are reading about an astronaut trying to survive on his own on MARS. There is just a lot of science talk, and I mean a lot. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted, so if you don’t fancy reading all the technicalities about Watney’s journey then this might not be for you.
That being said, there are many brilliant chapters, interspersed with the logs of Mark Watney, that show what is happening back on Earth and in space with the rest of the crew. This helps to keep the novel from being bogged down with the heavy duty science and plus, the characters are all absolutely fantastic. I just wish we could have spent more time with the crew members.
I think it’s pretty clear that I thought this book was amazing. Thank you all for reading, I hope you go buy it immediately and enjoy it as much as I did!