Hey friends! My name is Gabrielle and welcome to my attempt of reading and reviewing one book a day for the next year.
This is Day One.
So, how many of you have seen The Martian? And no, I’m not talking about the little green men. Not this time, anyway.
The Martian is a book written by Andy Weir, who’s plot follows astronaut Mark Watney’s battle for survival while he’s stranded on Mars. This book is told primarily in first person point of view, but later on in the story switches to third person to show the perspective of the other characters in the novel. These characters include many NASA bigwigs and the other members of Mark Watney’s team.
Now, while books are normally infinitely better than the movies that adapt them, I must say that after both reading the book AND seeing the movie, that the Martian holds a very special place in my heart. It is easily one of the most well adapted book to movie configurations that I have seen this year.
Of course, as amazing as the movie was, the book was indeed better.
From the first line, we as an audience are immediately put in to the mind of Watney as he figures out how to “science the fuck” out of staying alive on Mars.
Now, let’s talk about the perfect human being that is Mark Watney for a second.
“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”
― Andy Weir,
As the lowest ranking member of his team, a botanist and an engineer, he is armed only with his profound wit and botany skills to help him survive. And in all honesty, that is literally all he needs.
What is also nice is that we are able to read from the perspective of a wide variety of diverse and well rounded characters, as well as a glimpse at what the process inside NASA and space travel would realistically look like.
“Just three words? Nothing about his physical health? His equipment? His supplies?’
‘You got me,’ she said. ‘He left a detailed status report. I just decided to lie for no reason.’
‘Funny,’ Venkat said. ‘Be a smart-ass to a guy seven levels above you at your company. See how that works out.’
‘Oh no,’ Mindy said. ‘I might lose my job as an interplanetary voyeur? I guess I’d have to use my master’s degree for something else.’
‘I remember when you were shy.’
‘I’m space paparazzi now. The attitude comes with the job.”
― Andy Weir,
Filled with multiple instances of humor, drama, and enough conflict to make Watney’s desertion on Mars feel real, Andy Weir successfully creates a plot that easily keeps readers engaged and rooting for the characters the entirety of the novel
That realism is also seen in the science behind the plot, but it is explained easily enough that those people like myself who are not scientifically gifted, can follow what is happening.
In all honesty, I really don’t have anything to say about this book that could be interpreted negatively. I enjoyed reading it, and could not put it down once I started it. It was definitely a good day to start off my first day of consecutive reading for the next year.
In other words, one book down.
Three hundred and sixty four to go!!