Book: The Martian by Andy Weir
Goodreads summary: 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 & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& 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—& 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 Rating: 3/5
*Disclaimer: I read this book on an airplane. Review might be affected by sheer misery*
The thing that immediately stood out to me from the first page of this book was the narrators writing style. And from that first page, I hated it. I would have stopped reading if I had not a) purchased it instead of checking it out from the library, b) heard such great things about it and c) have been on an airplane, because I enjoy reading poorly written free ebooks (not all are bad, though) and critiquing them with the notes, and highlighting the worst grammatical errors, or quotes. Seriously, though, his logs are like long tweets. Who says, “My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain.” and “More shoveling, whee.” and “Bleh, I’m going to bed.” I was quite glad when the split perspective started.
As I read on, I began to care about this irritating character. I loved finding out how he would solve each problem, and that easily became my favorite part of the book. I could tell that the author had done a lot of research. Some of them were quite creative, like getting the hydrogen out of the fuel (hydrozine) and the oxygen from the Hab to make water. By the end of the book, I was fighting the ambian pill (sleep) to get to the end.
I still find it hard to believe that NASA would drop everything to save one person, and would have been unprepared enough that so few people would be working on it that people could be bribed off, but hey, no one likes it when the main character dies.
All in all, I like the book, but was bothered by the writing. I personally think it is overhyped.
To the readers of this blog: Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you like this type of narration?
I also am back to being a student by day, so my posting might become less frequent for these first few weeks.