Monday, October 13, 2014

The Martian by Andy Weir

Being an astronaut is challenging, dangerous, and makes your adrenaline run.  And that's just the regular job.  What about if the team evacuates Mars and you get left behind, thought dead?

Crown and Blogging for Books sent me the book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check your local bookstore for a copy.

This book impressed me.  It's science fiction but it's full of facts about how to survive on a foreign land.  After all, Mars is about as foreign as you can get.  I'm not big on details and facts but when you're fighting for your life, it makes a difference.

He was injured during a sandstorm and it took out his bio pack that let his team know how he was doing.  They decide Mark must be dead, can't take the time to find him, and they leave, sorrowing for his loss.  When Mark regains consciousness, he has to get himself back in the Hab.  The Hab is a habitat built to protect the humans on Mars.  He has to clean his own wound and give himself stitches.  At least he has the equipment to do it with.  Then he begins to access his chances on staying alive long enough to be rescued.  The problem is that the next team coming to Mars isn't scheduled to do so far another four years...

Only someone like Mark would make it here.  He's a combination botanist and general maintenance man.  He has a science background.  And he refuses to give up.  Most people would just despair.  He does know there is enough morphine on board that if it gets bad enough, he has a way out.  But he doesn't intend to use it.

It all starts with a few potatoes and recycling his bodily waste.  He has horrific challenges that come not only from Mars but from human error.  Small difficulties can be life threatening on Mars.  It's very suspenseful and interesting both.  I found myself glued to this book until I finished it.  At the end, I sat back, looked at my husband, and said:  "This would make a great movie!"  I've also heard tell that such a movie is coming.  If you enjoy this story, read the book first.  Movies can never give you the detail you get in the book.  If you prefer an abbreviated version, the movie might work.  But I bet there will be gaps that won't make sense unless you have the background.  

This a good enough book you won't want to miss it.   I probably wouldn't last a week up there.  He managed for months.  He also got tired of potatoes...

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