One is the loneliest number

The Martian ★★★★
Andy Weir
Crown, 2014

 

This whole book left me stupid happy and deliriously impressed and I spent most of my time declaring:

Jesse would have loved Mark Watney. I love Mark Watney. He’s super smart but not just in a poindexter nerd alert bookish kind of way. Watney’s got some serious problem solving skills; he’s McGyver in a space suit. Give this guy a toothpick, some tinfoil and a ziplock bag and he’ll build you an airplane. But don’t forget the duct tape. Duct tape is awesome and I will be putting in a supply of it in order to survive the zombie apocalypse.

the martianWatney is also a funny, the glass is half-full kind of guy who gets repeatedly knocked on his ass but finds a way to get right back up again. And who doesn’t love a fighter?

The Martian is being referred to as Cast Away in space and that’s pretty accurate as those things go. It’s definitely an adventure survival story (my favorite kind), and just like Tom Hanks, Watney finds himself stranded and completely alone. The only difference is rather than washing up on a deserted island with a plethora of unopened FedEx packages, Watney finds himself abandoned on Mars with….well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

There’s a lot of geeked out science descriptions, but I found most of it to be pretty accessible, even to a softcore sci-fi gal like myself. There’s a real balance and warmth to the story as Watney battles with the unforgiving Mars environment that wants to kill him every time he turns around. It’s thrilling and edge of your seat stuff with lots of laughs built in to break the inexorable tension.

Add author Andy Weir to the growing list of self-published authors who have successfully transitioned to a traditional publishing house. And there will be a movie, and I’m betting it’s going to be freaking epic.

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2 Comments

  1. I completely agree! A best-of-2013 read for me. Loved the upbeat-ness of it after all the poor barstid went through.

    Reply
  2. One of my best reads as well and completely intriguing. The humor during excessive stress was it for me.

    Reply

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