Written by Andy Weir
Publisher: Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction
Original Language: English
Read from 2014-11-16 to 2014-11-25
Read in English
Review: It would be an exaggeration to say that any book is perfect. But, within the boundaries of what The Martian tries to be, it gets extraordinarily close. A Mars mission doesn’t go quite as planned, and an astronaut gets left behind. The astronaut is not the kind of guy who gives up easily. The book takes it from there, and does it spectacularly.
For its length, this book is packed with so much great stuff. There is drama, there is science, there are thrills (cheap and otherwise), there is emotion, there is some more science, and there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. The pacing is great, and the book shamelessly takes the reader through a brilliantly constructed roller coaster. It has more surprises than one would expect, and never takes itself too seriously.
A great, complex, work of literary art The Martian is not. It doesn’t try very hard to make you think great thoughts or to challenge you. The setting being what it is there are plenty of alternate routes this book could have taken. It could easily have been packed with deep, existential, questions: What’s the future of our planet? Of space travel? What is the point of going to space? What is the point of being in the universe at all if we don’t explore it? The Martian hardly even alludes to any of this. It goes full speed ahead in a super-powered space rover. It does take place in outer space, but not in the “we are exploring hereto unknown elements of our galaxy” kind of way, but in the “WE ARE ON MAAAAARS! WE ARE ACTUALLY ON THE ACTUAL MARS!” way.
This book is so much fun, there really isn’t much more to say about it. Everyone should read it.