The Martian by Andy Weir Book Review



There’s been a lot in the news recently about NASA finding more and more out about Mars. It won’t be long before we eventually get humans there. Maybe even in my lifetime. But what about those of us who are impatient and need to go to Mars NOW!

Well now you can! Andy Weir has taken us on a space adventure in The Martian. Following astronaut Mark Watney as he tries to survive on Mars when his crew leave him behind thinking he’s dead.

The book has been out since 2011, but it didn’t gain popularity until the movie was released this year. I saw the advert for it on a bus and remembered reading some article saying it was based on a book so I thought I’d read it before I watched it. I have learned my lesson not to watch films before reading the book.

Martian landscape. Rocknest sand patch taken Sept 2012

Martian landscape. Rocknest sand patch taken Sept 2012

The Martian has the best opener for a book that I have ever read. The first line of the book is ‘I’m pretty much fucked.‘ I knew right away that I was in for a good ride. My initial thoughts were that it can go one of two ways. He can survive and get home or he can die on Mars, I was hoping for the former but expecting the latter. I think maybe the worst outcome will have been Watney getting saved by his crew and then they all die of starvation in space. Thankfully, I will tell you now that does not happen.

Mark Watney is a NASA astronaut and also a botanst and engineer, so he’s cleverer than your average joe. In his log he described lots of complex scientific processes He does very well at explaining complex science such as burning hydrazine to get water, and making fertiliser to grow potatoes. Weir does really well to break down the intricate astro science in a way that the readers can understand.

Mark trying to figure out how to survive on Mars was oddly reminiscent of me as a student trying to make money appear out of thin air just so I could eat. I guess it made it a tiny bit relatable.

I did wonder if the book was going to be entirely Mark on Mars but it can as a nice surprise when it switched to team on Earth who are trying to help Mark so you get a full picture.

NASA Astronaut Mike Hopkins on Spacewalk outside the International Space Station in December 2013.

NASA Astronaut Mike Hopkins on Spacewalk outside the International Space Station in December 2013.

It’s books like this that make me want to read. Books can put me in situations that I would never have been able to be put in. The Martian is so well written I actually feel like I’ve been to Mars. In my imagination, but it feels real, it always does with me.

You can go on so many adventures, live as so many different people all just by reading a book. That’s why I can’t stand books about normal people. Why would I want to read about normal people doing normal things when I could be reading about fighting for survival on Mars?! You never know, The Martian might come in handy one day if I do ever get stranded there!

Writing this review, telling you how good it is really makes me want to read it again! Although I’ll never feel the same about the story. I’ll read it without the worry about whether or not he survives because I’ll know the ending.
Hey! I wrote a whole review without so much as spoiling the ending! This must be a first!


One thought on “The Martian by Andy Weir Book Review

  1. Pingback: Brainwalker by Robyn Mundell & Stephan Lacast Book Review – A Thousand Lives

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