Monday, 22 February 2016

The Martian - Andy Weir

‘You probably think losing a crewman is the worst thing that can happen. Not true. Losing the whole crew is worse. You kept that from happening.
     But there’s something more important we need to discuss: What is it with you and disco? I can understand the ‘70s TV because everyone loves hairy people with huge collars. But disco?

A friend of mine told me to read this book, so… I did. If you haven’t familiarised yourself with the main idea after all the media coverage the movie adaptation from last year caused, it’s about a guy, Mark Watney, who gets stranded on Mars and tries to get back to Earth. It sounds like a pretty daunting task of course, but if anyone can do it, I’d most definitely put my money on him. He’s optimistic – the book states that his pleasant personality was part of the reason why he was on the mission to begin with –, a botanist and a fix-it-all sort of a person. It’s pretty perfect.

I often hear people say that the plot is something like this: Mark does a thing. Thing goes wrong. He fixes thing. He does another thing, and so on. I’m not going to claim that this isn’t true, but I don’t think it fully captures just how gripping the book is, how you really do feel Mark’s agony when he almost dies over and over again.

The story is mostly told through his sol logs, with witty commentary on the day’s events (I spent a long time deciding on a quote because I liked so many things!!) and things dumbed down just enough but not assuming that the reader is stupid by any means. I mostly identify first person POV with annoying YA main characters, but I’m fully convinced that this book is what it was made for. Even though he’s stranded on a strange planet all alone, he doesn’t complain any more than necessary. He doesn’t give up even when everything seems hopeless, and he does all of this very believably.

Speaking of believable; I don’t know all that much about Mars (personal shortcoming, I am aware), but at the very least this book felt very real, and I know Andy Weir did a fair amount of research to make it as accurate as possible, using existing technology and all that. Still, it doesn’t feel too detailed, to the point where you just have to doubt whether this can actually be true. All in all, he did a really good job with what he wanted to accomplish.

The other characters got a surprising amount of personality as well, considering how they were portrayed, just doing their own thing and kind of trying to help out where they could. If this makes any sense, I'd sum up that The Martian is a feel-good survival science fiction book. I was genuinely touched by how much complete strangers cared and how they wanted to get Mark home, fuzzy feelings and all that.

I don’t think I have anything bad to say about this book, and I really did try to figure something out. It was just really really good, to be honest. It was very geeky and I still read it because it was just so interesting. If anything, the ending left me a bit cold but it was the only single way the book could have possibly ended. Maybe I was just that sad to let it go. I'll definitely read whatever else Andy Weir has written. Did you know that he put the book on Kindle due to high demand, and at the lowest possible price? And that it became a Kindle bestseller after that? This little information makes me really happy.

Be seeing you, probably with Matthew Quick’s Sorta Like a Rock Star – I finished it yesterday but I’m still deciding whether I want to give it three or four stars. Hope you’ll have a great day ‘till then!

PS. My boyfriend told me that I can’t review a book without a Starbucks picture so you’re stuck with these now, sorry not sorry.

PS. That’s my name btw; Iiris is a character from a book I love, if you’ve for some reason been faithfully following these things.


  1. Watch The Martian online free on zmovie now. I really looked forward to this movie. High score both on IMDb and rotten, so all lights seem to be green....but the score has to be influenced by the studio as it goes almost every time with 'big' movies last few years. Mediocre or worse movies scoring like masterpieces :-(. Everything positive you read about this movie you can safely wipe from memory. Only two positive points: nice 'spaceshots' and a few moments of good acting from Damon. Too few to make the story believable or to really care about his character. It's what I would call a 100% Hollywood movie. Cliché-filled and therefor to forget asap...but then again that's just me.. you may like it. See more:

  2. Watch The Martian online free on losmovies very good. I was somewhat disappointed by 'The Martian', maybe because I had such high expectations of it. In my opinion the movie failed to really immerse you into the action or make you feel the danger of space, the way that for example 'Gravity' did.

    Also, it came across as feel-good NASA propaganda. Maybe that one is on me for being so cynical, I am not sure. The attempts at humor never made me laugh and sometimes made me feel embarrassed. I am not saying that it is a bad movie. I liked its realistic and scientific approach. There should be more sci-fi movies done in such an earnest way. However, in my experience 'The Martian' does not succeed in truly captivating or intriguing you. See more: watch Avengers Infinity War online