The Martian has been one of my favorite movies of 2015 (Kingsman has been my Number 1, no questions ask) so it was logical to read the book eventually after I’ve found out one existed. And let me tell you, it has been one fine read!
Published In: October 28th 2014
Publisher: Broadway Books/Crown/Random House
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The story follows US-american astronaut Mark Watney after he got left behind on Mars by his Ares 3 Mission crew mates. Not because he has been an especially strong jerk and his crew mates had enough of him to leave him on his own, but because of a flying Satelite that crashed into Watney and basically stabbed him not to death. His crew mates Lewis, Martinez, Vogel, Beck and Johanssen just didn’t know that and had to leave because of the huge storm on Mars. After waking up from his accident, Watney realizes that he has to survive somehow and helps himself with his knowledge of being a botanist and a trained astronaut the best he can as the only person left on Mars. His only chance to get off Mars is to travel to 3000km far Mars Ascent Vehicle of Ares 4 to fly to Mars Orbit and get picked up by his own crew. Doesn’t sound easy? Well it definitely isn’t.
The super cool characters
Of course Mark Watney has been just as cool as the movie character! Sorry for all the movie comparisons, but I’ve seen the movie first for a change 🙂 Mark is funny, clever and thank god he has a positive attitude or else I think someone would have gone mad in an extreme situation like this. I wish I could be as inventive as Mark because seriously, you have to get smart and creative for your own sake to survive everything Mars is throwing at you (and that is a lot). Not to mention to get through Mars training and NASA job interviews. That must be a hard task already.
Other honorably mentioned characters are Venkat Kapoor, the Mars mission director of NASA, Melissa Lewis, the commander of Ares 3, Rick Martinez, Chris Beck, Beth Johanssen and Alex Vogel, the crew members. Venkat must have had strong nerves for two years that this rescue mentioned endured. Lewis, Martinez, Beck, Johanssen and Vogel are Watney’s crew members and obviously good people if they come back to Mars for their colleague and extend their mission for another two years or such. I’m seriously not good with numbers. And I got a lot to say about numbers in this book.
“I understand it but I don’t understand it”
Wow I had a really hard time understanding what Watney had to do to make this and that work. As in: “Yeah I read what you’re doing but don’t ask me closer about the content or I will stare blankly at you”. Chemicals, numbers, pants, shoes…I’ve never been good with Science, that’s why I’m in the creative business (yeah I’m burning myself) so I might be trying to understand it but I probably won’t do it immediately. Else this book has been written nicely. I liked it that the reader could switch perspective with Watney, the crew and the earth people. It’s been a nice change and a funny aspect if you consider that you had a view on earth, space and Mars, yet everything has been focussed on Mars.
You could love, you could fear for Mark – even if you have seen the movie before reading the book! If you think like me, then this will always be a Schroedinger’s cat situation – as long as it hasn’t happened yet, an event could take every single possible turn. Why shouldn’t the movie have a different ending than the movie, right? It’s not like movies haven’t changed for the better or the worse. So I was never sure that the book would take the same turn as the movie. Also, the book has so many more informations on what Mark has done during his long, long time on Mars. Really interesting and partly gruesome, but worth the read.
The writing style has been an easy one (apart from the content) and I basically breezed through the novel. I love when that happens. Might have been easy too because I loved the story, so yeah. Experience it yourself! If you haven’t seen the movie yet, it’s even more of a reason to just read the book. Except if you hate space and astronauts, then you might hate it. If you have seen the movie, still read it, you will get more insight and you can’t hate it! It’s a win-win situation.
The Martian by Andy Weir gets 4 out of 5 stars because I couldn’t understand some science parts and that sucks. And there have been some of these parts unfortunately. Also I knew most of the plot, so it wasn’t too new for me. Else it has been a perfect read!
(i) The Amazon Links are affiliated Links. I guessed this was the easiest way to establish a store where you can go and buy a book if you are interested in it plus it makes me literally just some cents. Yes I got greedy and I’m gonna bath in my 10 5 cent pieces. You’re welcome.