I’ve read every book on the CBR Bingo “So Popular” list excluding Divergent, which I have no interest in, and I’ve already read and reviewed Bossypants and Gone Girl this year! I imagine I am not the only person in this particular boat and I look forward to everyone’s re-reads of these popular books. I decided to go with The Martian because I had heard good things about the audio-book and figured if I was doing a re-read I would change up the medium.
“Actually, I was the very lowest ranked member of the crew. I would only be “in command” if I were the only remaining person.”
What do you know? I’m in command”
Andy Weir’s debut novel is still as witty and charming as the last time I read it. Our protagonist, Astronaut Mark Watney, was stranded on Mars after his team was evacuated on Sol 6 and presumed he was dead after an antenna punctured his suit. Since the antenna that speared Mark controlled the communications network Mark is unable to tell the people at NASA that he is alive. Luckily for Mark, if one can be lucky when stranded on Mars, he is a botanist and engineer which prove to be the perfect combination of skills for someone in his unique position.
“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.”
Back on Earth satellite imagery proves Mark is alive although Houston has no way of communicating with Mars. Mark eventually get in contact with Earth which is great for his long term goal of getting off Mars alive but a lack of communication was only a small part of his situation and Mark won’t be out of harm’s way until he is safely back on Earth. The Martian could easily have been a deeply depressing story about a lone man’s struggle to stay alive in a barren wasteland incapable of sustaining life but Weir is able to inject levity and humor into a bleak scenario. Sure, you need to suspend your disbelief regarding some of the more outrageous plans Mark thinks up and flawlessly executes but it is a fun read that has some pretty sound science in it.
I don’t know if I would have sought out The Martian for a reread if it was not for CBR Bingo but I am glad I did!