Book Review – The Martian by Andy Weir
Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction
Do you remember the 1964 movie Robinson Crusoe on Mars?
Just as well. It was bad.
The Martian has a similar plot — a lone astronaut trying to survive on Mars and hoping for rescue. Unlike the aforesaid movie, this book isn’t bad. In fact, it’s quite good.
The protagonist (Mark Watney) is almost unbelievably clever, emotionally stable, and indefatigable. Of course most of the story is told through his journals, that is, from his personal perspective, and don’t we all tend to gloss over our own shortcomings? I did not see his portrayal as ‘too good to be true’ a flaw, although I must admit that his achievements did stretch credulity a bit.
There is a great deal of detail about how Watney uses and misuses the technology available to him. I’m not qualified to comment extensively on that or on the raw science behind it, but it all seemed plausible to my inexpert eyes.
Almost all of the other characters in the book are equally admirable. But then most are astronauts or scientists, which are noted for including some of the best examples of what humanity has to offer. These aren’t average people. They’re the cream of the crop, and they are portrayed as such. Most of them are the NASA people back on Earth. They come into the story in scenes that show us how they eventually realize that Watney is not dead (as they initially believed) and how they pull together to keep him that way.
What I like most about the book is that it shows humanity at its best, when people are being clever, inventive, selfless, and cooperating to achieve a worthwhile goal. There should be more stories like this.
Posted on September 14, 2014, in 5 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Positive Science Fiction, Science Fiction and tagged Andy Weir, Book review, science fiction, The Martian. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.