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 & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& 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—& 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?
I’d been seeing this book float around for a while, and it was on my TBR, but I wasn’t in any rush to read it. Then I saw a preview for the movie, and I had to read it before I saw it, so I finally picked it up.
It was nothing that I had thought it was going to be, and it was so good!
I loved one of the last lines from the book, and it sums up the whole story beautifully:
Every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out . . . This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception.
Ultimately, this is a story of survival against the greatest odds, and what keeps the reader invested, and not sinking into a pit of despair, is Weir’s success at the witty banter, Watney’s never failing optimism, and the general smartness of this whole book.
Weir is a self proclaimed space-nerd, and that nerdiness provided such a genuine element of the story that while sometimes the scientific explanations momentarily bored me, I was never distracted by thoughts that “this is unrealistic,” “There is no way he could have lived through that,” or “He’s not smart enough to have thought of that.” It was so well done, with the alternating POV’s between Mark, the Hermes crew, and everyone back at NASA; you see every part of the story coming together and the quote above is played out over and over again.
Lastly, I can’t believe this book was a self-published, first free, then the minimum charge for a kindle book. It gives so much hope to aspiring authors! This was just an incredible story, and I can’t wait for the movie (especially since I was picturing all the actors since Weir didn’t give any physical descriptions)!