The Martian

The Martian

Summary:

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.  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

This was a book I’d been meaning to get around to for a while, but it was when it was chosen for my book club that I decided to finally go for it.  Right off the bat I’ll say – I wasn’t expecting it to be funny! There were moments I was chuckling out loud simply because it was unexpected in the context.  I appreciated Mark’s sense of humor lasting throughout his struggles.  I particularly liked his “survived something that should have killed me” meal.

Weir does a fantastic job portraying urgency without creating suspense fatigue.  I find my main struggle with books like these is that I can only be nervous so long before I disengage so I don’t bring stress over to my real life.  Weir creates a compelling and fantastic story without me ever feeling like I needed to take a step back.  I will admit – having an engineering background I think I was more intrigued by the book than some others might be.  If you’re not interested in the “whys” of making things work, the book could get a little repetitive or long.  I’m not sure the nonstop optimism is completely realistic for a character in that scenario, but nonetheless this was a fun read that I enjoyed.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Anyone with a slightly nerdy bone in their body who also would enjoy some humor to mix it up.