Monday, 14 September 2015

The Martian - Book Review - Andy Weir

The Martian - Andy Weir - Book Review


I would rate this book 5 stars. I purchased the book thinking it would be a dry read, but despite the subject matter it is a brisk read and highly enjoyable.

The main character (Watney) gets stuck on Mars after a trip there is aborted due to a large storm. And so we end up with the main character, figuring out a way to firstly survive and then gets back to earth. Watney's exploits are recorded in the first person (very informal) by means of a "ships log" type format. If you have read historic ships logs (such as Shackleton and Cook) then you will know they are a bit dry in places. But Weir gets around this by only having Watney reporting on significant events, which fits well with his rebellious or impatient character.

The book is fairly humorous for me there were around 12 laugh out loud moments, normally placed to break the tension of some catastrophe, which made them so effective.

The sections of the book dealing with NASA response are more "normal" in terms of their format. The characters here are fairly type cast as you would expect for any governmental sort of scenario, but there we are. Expect people calling each other by the surname and drinking lots of coffee. I do not suppose that could be helped.

There are some third person paragraphs which lead up to some of the main disasters in the novel. In the first instance I found this to be really effective, but on the second appearance of these sections I found it forewarned you of the impending doom.

Lastly but not leastly the absolute best thing about the whole book is that it reads like the best ever episode of MacGyver you ever saw, with a Science Fiction twist, I was in heaven. From basic chemistry to hitting stuff with rocks the inventiveness of the main character is a joy to behold. As are his mistakes  . . .

Best book I have read in a while.

If you liked this book then you should read South by Shackleton, a real life story of the guys who went to the Antarctic ahead of the attempt on the South Pole (it is free on Kindle). It is similar story in a lot of ways but a real story.

Illustrator Devon 

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