Friday, July 31, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

Title: The Martian 
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Hardcover; 384 pages
Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (February 11, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0804139024
ISBN-13: 978-0804139021
Author's Website:
Notes: I borrowed this one from the library.

Mark Watney was on a Mars mission when the unthinkable happened--he was left for dead. Unbeknownst to his crew mates, however, he was alive. Now surviving on what rations were left behind, his own ingenuity, and sheer luck, he'll have to try to stretch what he has far longer than possible for the average person. Thankfully, with the skill set he possesses he's the most likely person to survive this near impossible situation. The soonest he can hope for rescue is in 549 mars days from when he was left stranded. This is his story.
This book reminded me of several movies. It reminded me of Apollo 13 (which was based off a real life scenario) not only because it took place in space, but because Mark had to use what he had and improvise to create what he needed. It reminded me of Gravity in the fact that Mark had to reach another venue in space in a rather risky fashion with dangerous roadblocks in his path. Lastly, it reminded me of Cast Away in that Mark is stranded by himself on a deserted planet and had to find ways of entertaining himself to keep himself from losing his mind and hope. I loved each of these movies and look forward to seeing "The Martian" when it hits the silver screen in October.

The Martian is a story of survival, keeping a positive attitude, patience, and using what you've got to do the seemingly impossible--stay alive. You can tell Mr.Weir put a lot of thought into writing each of the compelling life threatening scenarios his protagonist faces. While the odds seem stacked against him, Mark keeps finding ingenious ways of dealing with the hurdles placed before him while keeping a positive, upbeat attitude. It made me wonder how NASA would truly deal with an astronaut being accidentally left alive on Mars? Would they feel that each life is precious and risk all for even a chance at saving him or would they feel that endangering the lives of his crew mates, no matter how slight, was too great a risk for the possibility of rescuing the one? I know I wouldn't want to be the person to make that call.

Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. It was well written, humorous, and suspenseful. It made me wonder if colonization of other planets would even be a possibility. Would things grow the way we'd expect them too? How difficult would day-to-day life on another planet be? I know I wouldn't want to be one of the first to try it. Would you?

The movie trailer:

Notes to keep you in the Know:
In each of the log entries the term SOL is used. I missed the definition my first read through the book and it is not an acronym that stands for sh*t out of luck which is what first came to my mind and would have been somewhat appropriate. (I know, shocking of me to admit.) "The term sol is used by planetary astronomers to refer to the duration of a solar day on Mars. A mean Martian solar day, or "sol", is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds." Source:

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