I am the type of person who just feels all sorts of wrong when I have to see a movie before I’ve read the book, even thought I do know it’s different media: spoilers galore, and I prefer book doing it, not the movie. But with work and reading responsibilities, I had little hopes for this book, even though something was pulling me towards it. Luckily, our book club lit a green light, and Andy Weir book “The Martian” (ISBN 0804139024; 369p.; Goodreads) miraculously became a go. So here we are, and I am mad excited.
Mark Watney was part of a six member crew meant to spend some time on Mars, get some samples, celebrate Thanks Giving day, and pack up home to Earth. Everything was prepared, and they even got a slight treat: actual live potatoes for their celebration, not some dry-freeze astronaut crap. But you can’t foresee all, even if you’re a grand like NASA, you’re still dealing with Mars, a desolate planet with no life or resources to provide you with. So when the great hell of massive winds, dust, and sand hits: crew aborts the mission and retreats towards the safety of the ship leading home. It’d not be all that bad, if the ship (or the MAV) wasn’t under a risk of tipping over: even with Mars atmosphere or lack of it, they’re in no position to straighten it up, so this is it, leave now, or leave never. Mark, on the other hand, has a plan, which he quickly tries to rely to his commander, how to keep the damn thing standing. One moment he’s there, spilling optimistic words to her speakers, the next he is gone, signal and all. And after a few precious and risky minutes of search the world believed Mark dead.
But here he is, our crazy botanist. Waking up in this wasteland of a planet, a hole in his suit, shut accidentally with his own blood, alone, and with no way to communicate anyone of his survival. Next NASA mission to Mars is years away, and Mars, as pointed before, has nothing to offer. Unless Mark figures how to use what people already littered the face of this red planet with. Hey, at the very least he has water reclaimer that will keep him as hydrated as they come, and a hab full of nice clean air for as long as it might take. It’s only half as bad, right?
Imagine if Wade Wilson was a few times smarter, sane, and worked with NASA rather than be a merc. Mark Watney is easily one of my all time favorite characters. His will to survive, his jokes, his whole take on “well, I can sit here and cry, or I can get up and fix it instead” is just beyond me. Take a guy who when asked for a picture as proof of survival and well being sends Earth a thumbs-up and a sign saying “ayyyyy”. That’s him, this guy, against whole Mars. Luckily there’s not many Martians to screw with him.
So let me keep it as short as I can, and I can do little about it, for I’m still in the mode of “this was beyond good”, with nights spent out to read another chapter, another log, another page. 5 out of 5, on my fav list, and Thank You, Andy Weir. You gave me a book that kept me awake, rather than help me sleep, and I’ve no regrets.