reviews

The Martian

Write on: Mon, 03 Apr 2017 by  in Guests Reviews 1 comment Read 3039

5/5 stars.

Since I was a kid, it had been a dream of mine to be an astronaut.  Even movies like Aliens and Predator did not faze me but eventually, reality did. 

That was what I felt The Martian succeeded in doing. It provided a hefty dose of reality of what an astronaut will potentially face. It takes more than a year for a single space mission, and that is only to Mars, the 4th planet in our Solar system.   If you don’t get along with your crewmates, there really isn’t much you can do except endure it and in very close proximity at that.  And if I ever get to choose a crewmate if I chance upon space travel, it will be Matt Damon, err I mean Mark Watney.  He’s smart, has a great sense of humour, and demonstrates amazing resourcefulness and resiliency against the overwhelming odds stacked against him.  And does he ever face them – time and time again!  

Watney’s POV was predominantly written in the form of log entries (i.e. first person) and was really hilarious.  His optimism was just so endearing, albeit usually after he spewed a whole lot of profanity first when he landed himself into trouble.  A few of Watney’s scenes was suitably switched to a third person narrative, which worked very well to convey an almost palpable tension.  

One of the most amazing aspects of this book is how realistic it was.  It almost read like a real account of something that could happen.  There’s a whole lot of science and mathematics involved which indicated how much research the author went through to write this book.  Watney’s narration carefully explained his thought process in rigging up his solutions (some which are most unsophisticated, i.e. duct tape and hammer, but hey, it works!).  

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.” 

As someone who has used duct tape in almost every fix er' up situation possible - right down to holding up the bottom of a drawer - I completely agree!

While the scientific and arithmetic explanations can get a bit lengthy, Watney’s witty tone made it a breeze to read and the practical application quite interesting.  If I am the one stranded on Mars, I am 110% dead!  Unless of course, Watney conducts a class on How To Survive Mars, for which I will sign up immediately.   

Outside of Watney's POV - on planet Earth and on board the Hermes spacecraft - the author crafted a tale of compassion and the lengths that humanity will go to in order to save a fellow human being.   These characters were well-portrayed even though the bulk of the narrative focussed on Watney's fight for survival on a planet, that without any prejudice, will kill him in a blink of an eye.

The Martian is an amazing story with lots of suspense and tension, great characters, and strong themes of resilience and human compassion.  While not for everyone, as some might find the technical bits boring, I think that Andy Weir has written a really great science fiction book which will be spoken of in many years to come. 

Last modified on Thursday, 28 September 2017 13:43
TS

A self-professed geek and proud of it, I started reading at a tender age and never really stopped until work got in the way for several years.  I regained my voracious appetite for books a few years back and then started to enjoy writing down my thoughts.  I am more of an emotional/instinctual rather than a critical reader. 

Aside from reading, I enjoy outdoor sports (running, hiking, cycling, an occasional frisbee game), photography and travelling.

1 comment

  • Randycab Randycab commented on Sep 08, 2019 Comment Link

    If you’re upset about your weight and want to lose a little more, get this…

    An overweight mother with pre-diabetes has just SHOCKED the medical
    community by losing an unheard of 22lbs pounds in just 13 days…

    ....Without starving herself, she lost a total of 37lbs in the first month!
    -> CLICK HERE to see her Transformation Pics!

    ...Even without exercising, she went on to burn off 84lbs (almost a pound a day)
    and eliminated any sign of diabetes or any other life-ending diseases.

    And the amazing thing is…

    All she did was this D.I.Y. “carb-pairing” trick that reconditions your 3 female
    weight-loss hormones to drastically accelerate fat-burning while still eating the
    foods you love.

    Check it out for yourself…

    “Carb-Pairing” Melts Away 37 Pounds in Just 20 Days (WOMEN ONLY)

    Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.