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Trapped on Mars…

September 25, 2014

You’d think that the debut novel “The Martian” by Andy Weir would be quite depressing. I mean, it’s about an astronaut who accidentally gets abandoned on a manned Mars mission, and spends the next 18 months struggling to survive in the hopes of being rescued.  However, Andy Weir has written this as an astronauts “log” (think Star Trek), and it’s absolutely hilarious. One of the funniest books I’ve ever read.

themartianEngineer/botanist Mark Watney is on his first trip to space to collect samples on Mars and fix any mechanical problems. But, when the crew is suddenly evacuated, he suffers an accident and the rest of the crew think he’s dead.  In fact, everyone on Earth thinks he’s dead.  Watney has to figure out how to create enough food and water to survive, and more importantly, how to get back in contact with Earth.  He does quite well most of the time, but he also has some major catastrophes – and each one is life threatening, of course.  Can he survive?  Will he make it back to Earth?

This is quite a thrill ride, but also filled with poignant and tender moments at times. Certainly enough action to keep anyone entertained; enough humour to offset the dire circumstances; and enough scientific tidbits of information to inform.  It could be considered science fiction but equally an adventure/thriller.

I enjoyed this novel immensely, as have many others that I’ve recommended it to, both men and women.  For me, it was right up there with “Wool” by Hugh Howey as something a bit unusual and different.   Andy Weir is an author with a sterling career ahead, I feel.

Want to learn more about what Watney may have faced?  Check out new book “Mars up close”.

– Natalie

 

Addendum:  This novel has now been picked up by a studio and is being made into a feature film starring Matt Damon, directed by Ridley Scott. Yay! 

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