Rating: 4/4 stars
Author: Andy Weir
Published: February 2014
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Favorite Quote: I can’t wait till I have grandchildren. “When I was younger, I had to walk to the rim of a crater. Uphill! In an EVA suit! On Mars, ya little shit! Ya hear me? Mars!”
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him? source
This was a really great read. From the beginning it had me hooked. I had been waiting outside the library for it to open and completely lost track of the time. The library had been open for 10 minutes before I realized I could go in. Initially, I was hesitant to read this book. I don’t generally like survival books. They put me on edge and make me feel tense. In a way, I guess that is a good thing if the author can evoke such emotions in their readers. While there were times where I felt tense due to a situation that Mark found himself in, I continuously wanted to know what happened next.
One of the main things that I really enjoyed about this book is the science and the explanations of how much it is involved in an astronauts life. Science is used throughout this entire book to explain what the characters are doing and why. I like that there is also explanations in layman’s terms so that the reader can understand what they mean. While Jurassic Park is one of my favorite books the science often made the book boring, something that I was worried about when I encountered the first lines involving science. That was not the case here. Andy Weir is a very intelligent man, it shows in the writing, but I like that he took into consideration that not all of his readers are programmers and physicists.
I think one of the best features of this book is the humor. I can be very sarcastic, in turn, I love sarcastic dry humor. Mark is hilarious throughout this entire book. I often found myself smirking or laughing at something he said. It made intense situations funny and added a light tone to a serious situation. He was very entertaining. You can definitely see why people say humor is the best medicine. If he did not have his sense of humor, he would have lost morale from day one. I would definitely recommend this book. I think this is the kind of book that pretty much everyone would enjoy, if not for the humor, at least for the useful Mars survival tips.