THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir


Reviews / Monday, February 19th, 2018

My reading year started out with a BAM! Quite literally, as our protagonist in THE MARTIAN is good for more than one explosion. Here goes my review:

First things first, one of my reading goals this year was to read more Science-Fiction, there was a lot of both in Andy Weir’s THE MARTIAN and it had been on my TBR pile for quite some time. In this book, we follow our protagonist Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut who in on a mission on Mars when a sandstorm forces him and his team to evacuate the planet – Mark gets hit by flying trash, his crew thinks he’s dead and when he wakes up, he is alone on Mars without a way to communicate with Earth or with his team. Instead of giving up hope he uses everything he has – and I mean EVERYTHING – to survive and set up a way of communicating with Earth.

It’s like the movie “Cast Away” – but in space!

How can a book about one person’s struggles to get back to civilisation be any good, you ask? The same way the movie “Cast Away” with Tom Hanks got nominated for 2 Oscars way back when: a hero who never gives up even when he gets hurt and a lot of humorous soliloquies. Where Tom Hanks had his faithful Wilson, Mark Watney talks to a computer and records everything he does. Where Tom Hanks has to learn to make fire, Mark Watney has to make water out of thin air (I mean oxygen 😉 ). The way the story of “the Martian” was told – through recordings and log entries – was truly unique. The heavy science was balanced out beautifully through Mark’s humour and never-ending optimism.

The only reason, that this wasn’t a 5-star book for me was that one little thing the author did: Every now and again Andy Weir would add in explanations like “Remember when I did x? This explains what I’m about to do now.” or “I’m about to do z because 5 pages before I did y.” Some of it makes sense, especially since this book is pretty science-heavy at times. But after a while this started to annoy me and it felt unnecessary and patronizing. I’m sure the author meant well, I just don’t think that Mark Watney would actually explain himself in that way to himself, as  I’m sure he can remember well enough what he did and why…

In Summary:

Andy Weir obviously did a lot of research and it definitely paid off! There isn’t one boring second in this novel and fact is: This book it Science-Fiction at its best.

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