Thursday, August 14, 2014

THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir


I was looking for an exciting page-turner to read this month, a good book for a summer read. This book is pretty popular here on Goodreads and I decided to give this one a try. I think I made a pretty damn good choice! This book reads like a summer blockbuster, so if you ever want something light but exciting, pick this up!

When the book opens, astronaut Mark Watney has been left behind on Mars after his crew makes an emergency evacuation and believes him to be dead. Throughout the rest of the novel, we witness Mark use his ingenuity, experience, and determination in an effort to survive and get back home.

Andy Weir makes a book that is mostly filled with technical and scientific jargon compulsively readable. He does this by giving the main character an endearing sense of humour. Not only is it hard not to root for the guy, with his positive attitude and ability to find a joke in everything, but his amusing asides also help to ground this larger than life story and keep the story moving. And sometimes the most exciting thing to read about or watch is simply characters solving problems; to witness as a character uses their proficiency and resourcefulness to work through a situation. In that way, this book was similar to the Robert Redford movie All Is Lost, where we basically watched Redford try to survive in a sinking boat out on the open sea for an hour and a half, but it was riveting. Weir also uses the ticking clock method wonderfully, where we always are reminded that time is of the essence and that if the smallest thing goes wrong, it could all be over.

Sometimes the book did feel like the author was making it just to be the blueprint for a movie and that was sometimes annoying, especially once (SORT OF MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD) he introduced the NASA characters after they've realized that Watney is alive and begin hatching ideas to rescue him. Although this is when the book really kicks into high gear, it felt like every character had a "quirk" forced onto them combined with corny dialogue to get a smile out of the reader.

But if you're looking for a book that will definitely keep you turning pages and you like exciting survival stories like Gravity, Castaway, The Edge, or All Is Lost, definitely check this one out!

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