Review: The Martian by Andy Weir


The Martian by Andy Weir

Published Year: 2011
Genre: Science Fiction
Subtitle: Excellent

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. 

I absolutely loved the movie with Matt Damon (anyone else notice that Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain have now been in two space movies together?), so I decided to pick up the book. A little out of order for me; I typically go for the book first, but I forgave myself this one time.

I loved this book. Every question I asked myself while watching the movie was answered when I read the book. How did he know to do that? Answered in the book. Is the fancy, future technology? Nope, Watney's just a genius. 

I also love Matt Damon as Mark Watney. Of course, I already had him in my head as Watney, but he was just so perfect for his personality, it wasn't like I had competing images. It was a perfect overlay in my mind. Lovely and wonderful and hilarious. (Also all my favorite one-liners were in the book! Loved getting to read those haha). Watney's irrepressible sense of humor was the perfect contrast to the survival of Mars.

Don't get me wrong, there were definitely some flaws (as I'm sure you've all heard!). Watney gets down and dirty with the science, and it's heavy. If you're into that, then you'll love it. If you're not, you might get bogged down. I would have also really enjoyed AW fleshing out some of the secondary characters as well. I know that primarily the focus is on Watney (obviously), but he does jump around, and I would've appreciated less science and more depth from them.

5 out of 5 stars.