BOOK REVIEW | The Martian by Andy Weir

BOOK REVIEW | The Martian by Andy Weir
Review by Mark David Major

(Book blurb begins) A mission to Mars. A freak accident. One man’s struggle to survive. 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, Mark 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. (Book blurb ends)

The Martian (2011) is an excellent debut novel from Andy Weir. The novels reads very similar to James Lovell’s Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 (1994) with the important exception. Of course, that the latter is non-fiction while the former is science fiction. Weir’s prose has an easy flowing style that is appealing to readers. The characters are richly drawn. The ‘can-do’ problem-solving and the problems surrounding said attempts to solve those problems are fascinating. The film adaptation starring Matt Damon is extremely faithful. Basically, all Ridley Scott basically had to do was fill in the special effects around the dialogue/situations already at hand in Weir’s novel with only a few, minor differences. The Martian is definitely worth the read. Mark’s Grade:

The Martian
by Andy Weir
Paperback, English, 400 pages
Broadway Books, 2011
ISBN-10: 0804189358
ISBN-13: 978-0804189354

You can purchase The Martian by Andy Weir on Amazon here.

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