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The Martian’s Back-of-book Description:

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 while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue 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 kill 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. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

My Thoughts

The Martian  was another book I picked up in a bulk book-store-gift-card shopping spree. I saw it there on the shelf, bright reddish-orange cover standing out amongst the others and I was drawn to it like a flame. This was well over a year ago, mind you, before the movie was being advertised, so way before they started using Matt Damon’s face on the cover. (Don’t you just hate that, by the way? When they force you to picture the actor or actress’s face instead of following the author’s description!? Well I do.) Anyway, it sat in my ‘To Be Read’ pile for a month or so until I read that they would be making the movie (this seems to be a common theme with me) and then I decided I’d better get a move on.

If I’m remembering correctly I instantly loved this story. The easy dialogue between the characters and the thoughtful introspection of the lead was captivating and really inspired an emotional attachment to their stories. The author’s scientific background and use of real, science based words made everything seem like it was actually possible. I suppose that’s not hard since I’m not a scientist myself and thus have no idea if it’s actually plausible. Also I don’t have a hard time using my imagination.

In fact some of the science lingo was a little ‘over my head’ and I found myself sort of skipping over some words, but there was never any trouble getting into the story – the words didn’t get in the way. So if you worry about not understanding science based books, don’t.

Anyway, The Martian was enjoyable, believable, inspiring and very entertaining. It was really funny while also being suspenseful.

I saw the movie several months later and thought they did a fantastic job. They weren’t able to include all the parts, of course, because how could they without making an 8 hour long movie?! But it was well done, nonetheless.

Buy it now!

Favorite Quotes From The Martian:

“Actually, I was the very lowest ranked member of the crew. I would only be “in command” if I were the only remaining person.”
What do you know? I’m in command”  

 

“Blissful unconsciousness became foggy awareness which transitioned into painful reality.”  

 

“Now on to my next task: sitting around with nothing to do for twelve hours. I better get started!”  

 

“The worst moments in life are heralded by small observations. The tiny lump on your side that wasn’t there before. Coming home to your wife and seeing two wineglasses in the sink. Anytime you hear “We interrupt this program…”  

In Conclusion

Loved it. The Martian gets 5 out of 5 stars! Even if you’ve already seen the movie, I recommend you read the book. The amount of detail he goes into is awesome – it’s well worth your time. It’s also an excellent intro to sci-fi for people who don’t usually read that genre, and it’d be great for science lovers who are looking to get into fiction.

 

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