I'm stranded on Mars.
I have no way to communicate with Earth.
I'm in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.
If the Oxygenator breaks down, I'll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I'll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I'll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I'll eventually run out of food and starve to death.
So yeah. I'm screwed.
It was evident that a lot of research has gone into this book, and I’m sure some people appreciate the level of detail that has been included. For me though, it just went straight over my head – and this is no fault of the author, I’m just not very science/chemistry/physics minded. After a few chapters I was just skimming the more technical parts and by the end I was skimming all of the technical parts of what Watney was doing to survive.
No matter what terrible thing that Watney was going through, he was sure to pull through and give you a detailed description of how he did it. Even if it was convoluted, nearly impossible and almost sure to result in death, Watney pulled through without any injury (physical or mental). I found that this just removed all tension from the situations that he was going through. This is the exact opposite of what I was hoping for.
I was expecting a gory, horrifying tale of survival of a man that would surely suffer mental, if not physical scars at the very least. Being isolated on Mars, not sure if you’ll survive every day and with no guarantee of ever coming back to Earth is sure to have some impact on you, surely. But Watney’s journals are as cheery as they were from the first entry. I will say though, that even I didn’t want to eat potatoes by the end of the novel.
The saving grace in The Martian for me are the chapters back on Earth, where the characters who are figuring out what to do with Watney and what sacrifices they will have to make – how many resources is one man worth to save? These chapters felt very real and full of emotion, and are ultimately what kept me reading this novel. - Emma (QBD)
This book is fantastic! Humour can be hard to express through a written narrative, but Andy Weir's 'The Martian' does it perfectly! Wise-cracking Mark is left stranded on Mars after a freak storm that cuts him off from the rest of his crew. His fight for survival is a fascinating story and his constant witty remarks and grudging acceptance that he probably wont' survive make for a fantastic story. - Mitchell (QBD)
In Space no-one can hear you scream...or swear
Survive. Don't go insane. This is Mark Watney's new goal in life.
6 sols ago Mark Watney was living his dream- he was an astronaut on a NASA mission to Mars. That was 6 sols ago. Before his dream turned into a gut-wrenching nightmare of epic proportions. Injured by a freak accident, assumed dead, Mark Watney is now alone in a 'frozen' wasteland where EVERYTHING is trying to kill him. Even the things designed to keep him alive.
With absolutely no way to communicate with earth, living in a habitat designed to last 31 days, Watney needs to use all his ingenuity and determination to survive until he can be rescued. If NASA ever notices that he needs to be rescued- and that's a pretty big if.
To keep himself from going insane, and for posterity, Watney keeps a log detailing his every effort to stay alive. Full of pop-culture references, and a severe dislike of Disco, the log is a little science-heavy but his quick wit (and multiple explosions) make it really entertaining. Having to take on the roles of every other member of his team - doctor, chemist, botanist, astronaut, engineer, logistics expert, and computer genius - it is sometimes just his dogged perseverance and hope that keeps him going.
Destined to become a classic, Andy Weir's sci-fi masterpiece is a singular piece of literature that blends together science and mans struggle to stay alive against indomitable odds.