By Andy Weir
A book review.
Published in 2015 by Del Rey, London.
Mark Watney is stranded on Mars as an emergency evacuation goes wrong during an extremely dangerous sandstorm. The rest of the crew manage to make it aboard the Hermes, a nuclear ion engine ship that transports the astronauts from Earth to Mars and vice versa. Eventually NASA finds out Watney is alive from satelite imagery, and the whole world watches as the greatest minds on Earth try to save the greatest mind on Mars. After all, Mark Watney is the greatest botanist on the red planet.
The world the author paints with his incredible use of language and perspective is completely believable. I think the main aids towards this are the constant mathematical problems that Watney has to ‘solve’. Such as, figure out how many days his food will last, or how to travel a distance of 3200km with no navigation system and a limited means of transport? The bigger problem (How the hell do I survive?) is broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks.
I love every single character in this book. Both the good and the bad. I love them because they are human, they have flaws. The sense of humor in this book keeps it alive, otherwise the impending sense of doom and despair would make this book unreadable. But this is far from it, I just couldn’t put it down and I couldn’t help laughing at all the jokes.
It has its highs and lows which keep it interesting, and every problem Watney has to face is unlike any other anyone has ever had to face. I mean, have you ever been stuck on Mars? I know it’s a fictional book, but I’ve never read or heard of any like it.
The wit, resourcefulness, love and humanity in this book are what I think make it sensational. The only thing that made me angry was that it ended somewhat abruptly. But all good things must come to an end.
Definitely, definitely a must read… (for adults. There is profanity.)