Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Freitag, 26. Dezember 2014

The Martian by Andy Weir
Published: February 11th 2014 by Crown (first published 2011)
Number of Pages: 369 (Hardcover)
Series: No
Buy it: Book Depository
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   Apollo 13 meets Cast Away in this grippingly detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller, set on the surface of Mars.
   Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.
   It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to get him first.
   But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

"I'm pretty much fucked."

   This first line perfectly describes the entire novel. I'm not even kidding you. Way to go, Mr. Weir!
   After that opening line, paired with the blurb and the cover, I was sold. I had to get my hands on this book. I had to read it so I decided to buy it for myself for Christmas.
   I did not regret buying a hardcover copy.
   This book is nothing like what I usually read. It doesn't really fit into any of the genres I usually turn to and I loved it. This book was very different from what I have read so far throughout my years of reading. I admit, there was a lot I didn't understand simply because there is a lot of science in this book. A LOT. But, despite all the science, I still enjoyed this book a lot. I had a fantastic time reading it and exploring all these things involved in trying to survive on a planet where everything is out to kill you.

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. 
Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”

   Mark Watney, the protagonist of this breathtaking novel, is a botanist and engineer who flew to Mars with his Crew where he was supposed to stay for 31 days. But, everything came differently and he ended up up there all alone. Through his "diary" entries we explore what is on his mind and how he tries to do everything he can to stay alive. He has an awesome sense of humor and never loses hope, as far as that is possible when you consider the fact that you have no way of telling anyone that you are actually still alive. Mark is a great protagonist and I would gladly read another story from his perspective. 

“As with most of life's problems, this one can be solved by a box of pure radiation.”

   The way this book is written is very unique and captivating, not only because of the extraordinary setting, but because of all the things that happen throughout the story, the science and the humor. There are many things I want to say about this book, point out things I liked most, but that would spoil the story for those who have not yet picked this book up. You definitely should.

“I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. 
First, get some hot water, then add nothin’.”

   All in all The Martian is a very unique, spectacular and outstanding novel which has a lot to offer and, despite all the science which most humans without a degree in math, chemistry and/or engineering won't really understand, the story is more than just worth it. Don't let the science scare you. Just accept the science because it really isn't completely crucial to understand it. Mark's story is definitely worth reading. And I mean how often do you come across a book set on Mars?

   But, if The Martian still doesn't sound like a book for you, don't worry. The movie starring Matt Damon, Sean Bean and Jessica Chastain is set to come out November 2015 (Wikipedia). I hope they won't mess it up. Either way, I'm super excited.
I give The Martian by Andy Weir 5 out of 5 pirate-ninjas.

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