Monday, September 21, 2015

99:120 The Martian by Andy Weir

First book by Andy Weir.

Mark Watney was part of the Ares 3 mission to Mars to explore the surface of the red planet.  After a huge duststorm hits where there base is located, they are told to evacuate but the communications antennae whipped around by the storm pierces his spacesuit and drags him away from the rest of the crew.  They leave and when he wakes up, he finds that he is all alone on the desolate planet.  Mark is a pretty resourceful guy so he starts trying to figure out how he can survive until the next Ares mission reaches Mars in a few years and get to where their base will be so maybe he can hitch a ride back home to Earth.

Meanwhile on Earth, everyone thinks Mark Watney is dead until one day he manages to get communications established once more through amazing ingenuity and then the entire planet is pulling for him to come back.  The big question is how in the worlds can NASA pull it off considering how much time and work goes into a Mars mission?

I bought this book for my 16yr old son who tends to prefer SciFi to fantasy (like his father) last Hanukkah but he hadn't read it yet and then my husband found out about the movie and asked if we owned the book. Upon hearing we did, he yelled for the now-17yr old to bring it to him.  He had is finished a few days later with many snorts punctuating his reading.  This lead the 17yr old to pick it up and devour it in a few days, again with many snorts punctuating his reading.  At this point, I told him to fork it over so I could see what the big deal was.  It's a scifi thriller, no doubt, but the writer does an excellent job of bringing in levity and snark before and after the tremendously tense scenes which helps keep it from being dark and depressing which it easily could have been.  The science seems plausibly sound and Mark Watney is a guy you can't help but like and admire.  In all, an excellent book and one I highly recommend.

Page count: 369p/26,420p ytd/241,352p lifetime

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