Author: Andy Weir.
The debut novel from Andy Weir, The Martian started out as a successful e-book on the Kindle. It was later published in print and became a New York Times best seller. It garnered further attention with the 2015 movie adaptation by Ridley Scott.
The novel follows Mark Watney who is left stranded on Mars after his mission goes awry and he is presumed dead by his crewmates. He must figure out how to stay alive in terms of getting enough oxygen, water and food while planning how to communicate with Earth. He eventually must get to an escape vehicle 3,200km away that will allow him to intercept with his crewmates’ ship. So an interesting premise.
Weir has a background in software engineering of which he brings a lot of his expertise. Of course, he did quite a bit of research in terms of space travel, the geology of Mars, and engineering. It manages to be scientifically accurate yet accessible to the general reading audience.
The narrator, Mark Watney is down-to-earth (excuse the pun), and constantly makes jokes, curses and takes the piss out of things. He is a likeable narrator who, even in a life-threatening situation, manages to not take things too seriously, and relax. The passages are in log form so it’s as if he’s talking directly to the readers.
A brilliant sci-fi novel that manages to be dramatic yet humorous and light-hearted. (It also gave me a new-found appreciation for potatoes!)