Books, Fiction, Reviews, science fiction

You think surviving on Earth is a challenge, how about Mars?

The Martian by Andy Weir

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“You think surviving on Earth is a challenge, how about Mars?”

Labeled as a “survival thriller“, imagine Robinson Crusoe on Mars? It’s a tale of a man trying to endure alone on the incredibly inhospitable planet of Mars. But it’s not the tension of survival that makes Andy Weir’s debut novel brilliant, it’s the humor.

In the middle of nowhere, Mark Watney, a botanist and a mechanical engineer, without his crew who were forced by a dust storm to leave him behind, thinking he was dead, wakes up some time later to find himself stranded on Mars with a limited supply of food and no way to communicate with Earth or his fellow astronauts. Thus, Mark, with his good sense of humor and his “smart-ass” trait tries to overcome a series of increasingly tricky mental, physical and technical challenges just to stay alive, until finally, he realizes there is just a glimmer of hope that he may actually be rescued.

This book made my bad mood turn into an extreme bliss, I ended up finishing it in matter of hours. Not even a “Sol”. Hours. It never felt that I was reading a novel of 350 plus pages. Just like rescuing the Martian, Andy Weir writing will rescue a reader from any abnormal state of mind, no matter how deadly it is, it can’t be deadlier than being left behind on a desolated planet.

“How Aquaman can control whales?
They’re mammals! Makes no sense.”

Humor comes with the aid of geekiness. The technological details, even like the minute ASCII characters to very detail of growing potatoes, cracking up the hydrazine (rocket fuel) to make water and “other nerdy stuff”, Weir’s efforts does not go empty-handed. Each effort he has put in shows clever display of his own love for technology, and using the right amount certainly does not bores a reader to tears. Furthermore, the book tackles with human emotions. With just a few paragraphs devoted to letters from Watney to his crew, Weir establishes the beautiful amity between them. Similarly, the crew’s phone calls home breathe life into each supporting character, whether they’re reassuring their spouse, sibling, or a worried parent.

“Ruining the only religious icon I have leaves me
vulnerable to Mars Vampires. I’ll have to risk it.”

Weir procures a reader to an exploration and along with that, he generates a simple thought about the survival of an individual in such extremely hostile conditions rather than worrying and vexing upon on minute proceedings of our daily lives.

“Every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out.

It might not seem that way sometimes, but it’s true.”

Even the film rights to the book have been sold, and a version of the story may appear on the big screen in next two years, but it’s hard to imagine that the movie version would be better than the book.

The Martian is a story hard to put down, sharp, funny, thrilling, it’s a complete package. Recommended!



View all my reviews


9 thoughts on “You think surviving on Earth is a challenge, how about Mars?”

  1. Such a good read. I love the inventiveness of the main character not to mention his humour. Plus, it could have easily been in danger of becoming a bit much – just following Mark around – but then the author breaks it up very nicely in the middle. A great book all round.
    Lynn 😀


  2. I like how you’ve pinpointed what makes Andy Weir’s book so compelling. It was the humour plus as you say ‘the geeky details’. I enjoy your reviews. let’s stay in touch


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