Finally, after a slew of annoying-ass protagonists, I read The Martian, starring one of the best main characters I’ve read in a long time. I like Mark Watney. Everyone does. Too bad his crewmates left him on Mars!
“He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?” He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”
LOG ENTRY: SOL 61 How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.”
Mark Watney’s crew all thought he was dead when they emergency evacuated from Mars in a sandstorm. Turns out he wasn’t. Instead, he’s stranded on Mars, with no way to contact Earth, and enough food to last maybe six months. And the next Mars mission doesn’t land for four years…
I loved this book so much. It’s amazing how hilarious a book about a man stranded on Mars for a couple of years, in constant danger and near-dead a few times, can be. But Mark’s got that gallows humor down pat. He also has a way of explaining extremely technical things — how to create fuel from hydrogen, how to grow potatoes in space, how pressurization works — that makes them not only understandable, but entertaining. And this book was so stressful — I got the audiobook because it was available before the hardback from the library, and it took me over a week in the car to get through. The man almost dies like, twice per CD. If I had gotten the actual book, I guarantee I would have read it in one sitting with my eyes glued to the page. Instead, I ate my lunch in my car yesterday so I could finish listening to it (my car possesses the only CD player I own). It was just that good.