by Andy Weir
Published: February 11th 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Format: eBook (369 pages)
A mission to Mars. A freak accident. One man's struggle to survive.
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, Mark won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.
As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive.
But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.
Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale.
Sarcasm + Education = The Martian.
Examples of education:
- I learned that human waste can be used as fertilizer but it spreads disease so other than that it’s great fertilizer.
- Burning hydrogen and oxygen makes water. I always think of water as being recycled but yeah, duh, it can be made too.
The sarcasm comes across as his way of dealing with the many many things that can kill him including his own ideas. I get the feeling if he wasn’t making light of the situation that he would curl into a ball and cry. It makes him very relatable. One of my favorite examples of his sarcasm:
“Fun fact: this is exactly how the Apollo 1 crew died. Wish me luck!”
-Andy Weir, The Martian pg 160
There are sad parts, too. I wanted so badly for him to make it that I really felt for him when things went wrong. The irony was great. My favorite ironic moment was him navigating Mars with a sextant. I highlighted half the book with funny quotes I liked. His voice in the writing is what makes this book worth reading no matter how many times you’ve seen the movie.
I’ll leave you with this little gem that restores your faith in humanity a little.
If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don’t care, but they’re massively outnumbered by the people who do. And because of that, I had billions of people on my side. Pretty cool, eh?
-Andy Weir, The Martian pg 369