Ok. Let me begin by saying WOW! Mad, crazy scientist props to Andy Weir, a self proclaimed "space nerd and devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned space flight." Geez. My hobbies consist of reading, collecting Louisiana Festival posters, and Nutcrackers. Um. Obviously, Weir is extremely brilliant. His bio says he was hired by a national laboratory at the age of fifteen. Weir was a programmer at fifteen!! I was just getting my driving license. His debut novel, The Martian, is now a major motion picture. Of course, as popular as both are, you didn't need me to tell you any of this. I haven't seen the movie yet but it's easy to picture Matt Damon as the book's hero, Mark Watney. I can easily imagine Damon doing the character of Watney a great, sarcastic-comedic turn. Well played, Hollywood!
Now, on to my short and sweet review. Because I'm a bit behind in reading, this book has already been widely read and reviewed. I can't think of much I can add to opinion and therefore, I will keep it simple. If you're a fan of sci-fi, NASA, physics, science, and chemistry, by all means, run to your local bookstore or library and grab a copy. Liking math is also a plus. There's lots of all these things mentioned many, many times. Math, science, and chemistry...not exactly my thing. Once Watney started calculations my mind began to spin. Watney describes it best when he says,
"Remember those old math questions you had in algebra class? Where water is entering a container at a certain rate and leaving at a different rate and you need to figure out when it'll empty? Well, that concept is critical to the "Mark Watney doesn't die" project I'm working on."
Watney cleverly narrates the story from Mars by making daily log entries. Well, actually it's "sol" entries. One sol on Mars is equal to one Earth day. Watney will be spending lots of sols on Mars. Alone. He's clever, though. Reminds me of Macgyver, if Macgyver had been an astronaut and a botanist. On Earth, the story revolves around mission control and those in charge. In space, we get a feel for things from Watney's surviving crew members from the aborted, failed mission that has stranded Watney on Mars. The entire world holds their breath and actually works together to save a human life. Every effort is made to return Mark Watney to Earth. All in all, it's really an incredible story. Kudos to Weir for the highly scientific aspect of everything. I mean, he had to do some serious thinking to put this story, with all the pieces in the right place, together. Some of Watney's explanations become tediously boring. Have patience. Once the story gets in gear, it's a nail bighter. Exciting stuff! I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone. And I'm just going to come out and say it, something I rarely say, this is probably much better as a movie. *ducks to avoid flying debris being thrown by other readers* What?! I said I liked this book. I really did!
**Received an ARC from Blogging for Books in exchange for review.