Everyday Tidbits...

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Monday, January 11, 2016

The Martian...Review

About the book:
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.

Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale.

In the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to see the film and in order to do that, I had to read the book first! Wow. I'm so glad I did. I could not put this down. The science was beyond me, totally and completely. I didn't even try to understand it. What I did enjoy were the relationships and the interplay. I loved Mark's logs and his perspective of the situation. Alternating that with the experiences and perspectives of his crew and Mission Control/NASA was fascinating. Even though I had an idea how the book ended, I was still riveted. Seriously, my husband and boys would want my attention and all I wanted was to get back to my book!

Mark's ingenuity and perseverance was just incredible. His crew's decision to rescue him, defying NASA; and those back on Earth determined to bring him home gave the story an authentic intensity.

Andy Weir grew up in my hometown and graduated from the rival high school about 5 years after me. His parents worked at the same national laboratory where I worked for 18 years. We were in different fields/departments. Andy worked at the other national laboratory across the street. Awesome coincidences and ones that just made me even more enamored of the book.

There is moderate profanity, but much less than I was led to expect and it didn't distract from the story at all. Honestly, I loved Mark's snarky, slightly salty sense of humor. He'd fit in well with my family.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow. You can purchase your own copy here, which is what I did so The Doctor can read it. He's a huge space fan and knows all about the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo missions, etc., to the point that he can critique the movies. I can't wait for his perspective on the science and plausibility of this book.

Loved the film. I thought it was a terrific book to film adaptation.

Read 1/16

* * * * *
5/5 Stars


  1. Everyone's loving this but, after seeing the movie, I decided not to read the book. I had a lot of trouble suspending disbelief.

  2. Lpved learning about the connections between you and him!

  3. I thought this was an awesome read, too! And I loved how Mark's irreverent humor is what got him through some really tough situations. And the fact that it took place on Mars....I'm a sucker for Mars-related books. Great review! :)

  4. I loved Mark's personality and the message to never give up! I loved both the book and the movie. I was listening to the audio while doing a big gardening project out front and would just laugh out loud and the neighbors probably wondered why I was having so much fun.