By Andy Weir
“I guess you could call it a “failure”, but I prefer the term “learning experience”.” – Andy Weir
I watched the movie before reading the book. Yes, bad start, but it’s true. I found out the movie was an adaptation while watching the Academy Awards ceremony. But, although I already knew most of the plot and the ending, I was still amazed by the book; I almost felt like it was a completely different story.
At first I expected it to be just like the movie, but I was wrong. What I like about books is that you don’t follow only what the characters are doing, but what they’re thinking and feeling, so the first thing that surprised me was how much I could feel Mark Watney was a close friend of mine. His jokes, his scientific and technical explanations about what he was doing and how he was solving things and the way he talked about the crew and his life living in Chicago made me care about him and feel sorry that he was left alone in Mars. Although I felt bad about his situation, I also understood the Commander’s point of view of why she had left him behind.
Mark was the least useful of his crew, or so we thought, but because of his creativity, he survived. I mean, his botanist and engineering skills were useful when it came to food or technical problems (who knew duct tape could do so many things…). His personality also helped him a lot; being so optimistic and having his Log as a companion helped him when he faced terrible challenges (and sometimes failed) all by himself! It always made me laugh how much he complained about the music and shows that was left in the Hab.
I found it very interesting when I read the parts that are written in the people of NASA’s point of view; reading about how the world united to save one of their own from another planet was amazing, because I think that’s what would happen if someone was stuck in a situation like that. I enjoyed Venkat and Mindy Park’s timelines, and also the crew’s.
Finally, because the book was written by a science geek (he’s watched all Doctor Who!), it had information that made it more believable and helped me go back to the days where all I wanted to be was a NASA astronaut and travel to outer space. After reading this book, I rediscovered my love for space and science, and I hope everyone that reads it finds something like that in them or at least has a good time reading it.
I highly recommend it. It is thrilling and exciting, as well as funny and entertaining. You will also learn new terms and information about space traveling (pirate-ninjas!).
I give this book a 5/5 and recommend it to people 14+ (not because of content, but because of the terminology and the scientific explanations).
Weir, A. (2014). The Martian. United States of America: Broadway Books.