The Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Update July 2016:
I finally watched the movie today. It’s good, but the book is a lot more fun. I missed its humour the most. There was so little of Mark’s sass left. And all his struggles to survive, how he figured out how to do impossible stuff–it’s so reduced in the movie. The movie does win the last few scenes. You can’t top the visual impact of those frantic scenes with words.
A re-read might be in order!
Update from August 2015:
A large chunk of the year has passed, I have read some great books in that time, some crappy ones and some in between. This is still the best read of 2015! If you have the slightest interest in the plot, read this!
Original review from February 2015:
Take one smart-arse with a wacky sense of humour, give him some knowledge of botany and mechanical engineering skills, dump him on Mars and abandon him. Watch and be entertained.
“I’m pretty much fucked. That’s my considered opinion. Fucked.”
Good thing he has some bad 70s TV shows, Disco and some Hercule Poirot to take his mind of things and a never ending supply of crazy ideas, how to survive until the next mission to Mars arrives to save him…
“I would only be “in command” of the mission if I were the only remaining person. What do you know? I’m in command.”
“Damn it, Jim, I’m a botanist, not a chemist!”
“Yeah. This all sounds like a great idea with no chance of catastrophic failure. That was sarcasm, by the way.”
“How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.”
“All my brilliant plans foiled by thermodynamics. Damn you, Entropy!”
I thought the snark and humour would get annoying eventually, but they didn’t. Maybe it got old a little, later on in the book, but just a tiny, weeny bit.
Halfway through the book the suspense really took off and reached escape velocity and I was biting my nails. Oh boy.
There were a few moments when the author lost me with his techno babble or I simply was too lazy to try and follow his math, but ultimately this was a great book. Entertaining, funny, suspenseful, with a plot full of surprises and a loveable main character.
“In your face, Neil Armstrong!”
“Beers for everyone if I get back to Earth.”