Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Martian - Andy Weir

The Martian
The marketing for this books calls it a cross between Castaway and Apollo 13. I mean, that's pretty accurate.

Andy Weir's debut novel tells the story of an astronaut accidentally left on Mars when presumed dead by his colleagues. His fight for survival and rescue ensues and the reader is sucked into a surprisingly engaging scientific world. 

Guys - I stayed up past midnight two nights in a row to finish this book. I read the whole thing in those two nights. I could not put it down

Call me crazy. Usually science fiction, which we have to admit is technically where this book falls, is not necessarily my thing. When I think science fiction I think aliens and intergalactic battles. This book felt so real. Everything felt so possible. Weir explains each step of the way in such detail, it makes you wonder we aren't really on Mars if we have it all figured out (Kevin's exact question while reading this book). Something about the story felt far more accessible than any other science fiction I have ever read. 

I do not want to give away much about the plot itself since much of what makes the book engaging is the day-to-day survival of Mark Watney, the left-behind astronaut. Watney is extremely easy to relate to. His quirky personality and corny jokes probably remind us all a bit of what we would be like if we were trapped with no human contact for extended periods of time. Of course, the man is a freaking genius (duh. They don't let stupid people be astronauts) and his mad survival skills are a bit of a stretch sometimes. Still, Weir keeps everything so logical and believable that you really feel Watney's life is due to half luck and half brilliance. 

I definitely recommend this book if you are remotely interested in space travel, colonizing other planets, adventure stories, survival stories, science and math, psychology...basically a variety of things. I'm pretty adverse to science and math myself, but I managed to get through the technical descriptions Weir includes. They get a bit lengthy at times, but if you focus on the big picture and don't try to understand the specifics of how Watney plans to grow potatoes on Mars, you'll probably enjoy the book better as a whole. If you do love science and math, well, you're gonna freak out over this book.

Kevin is reading (and enjoying!) it now, always a sure sign of an engaging book. I only pass off my favorites to him and this one definitely caught my attention. Can I reiterate that I stayed up super late two nights in a row to read it? Completely killed my sleep patterns that week, but it was worth it. Get your hands on this book before it gets super popular or turned into a movie (which I can completely see happening). 

Pages: 369
Date Completed: October 10, 2014

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