Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian
The Martian by Andy Weir

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Opening Sentence: I’m pretty much fucked

This was the perfect book to start the year with. This book is one of a kind and clearly so is it’s author. There have been moments in the book when I told myself that I would stop at a certain page or chapter, and then completely failed to notice when the said part came and left. The technical details along with the comedic tone and gripping story gives it a unique voice. If textbooks were written like this, I can guarantee students would pay a lot more attention to science.

To start off, the character had no choice but to build and develop, it’s a story based almost entirely on the point of view of one man who is stranded on an entire planet all by himself, and quite a lovable character at that. It wasn’t just that there is only one POV, but that there is absolutely no one else involved in the majority of the happenings that makes what has been accomplished here such a thing of absolute beauty. Mark Watney is showcased as a man who, in all his brilliance, is smart, resourceful and a one in a billion kinda guy who can be on a planet all by himself and not go insane. His sense of humor plays just as much a role in his survival as his intelligence and quick-thinking.

Speaking of humor, there were many parts where I found myself literally laughing out loud thanks to Mark Watney’s frank and often inappropriate comedic narrative.
Like this one:
Tomorrow night I’ll sink to an all new low!
Lemme rephrase that….
Tomorrow night, I’ll be at rock bottom!
No, that doesn’t sound good either….
Tomorrow night, I’ll be in Giovanni Schiaparelli’s favorite hole!
Okay, I admit I’m just playing around now.

And of course this:
…Also, please watch your language. Everything you type is being broadcast live all over theworld.
[12:15] WATNEY: Look! A pair of boobs! -> (.Y.)

This could have been the most bleak and tedious reads and yet Weir found a way to keep readers gripped and entertained throughout, silently rooting, groaning and cheering for Mark.

Having seen the movie long before having read the book I did notice deviations from the story in the film, and yet not enough to annoy me. Usually I am the first one to hate on a movie that all out ruins the beauty of a book and yet in this case I was glad that the integrity of the writing was kept intact. A lot of dialogue was taken right from the novel, especially in Mark Watney’s case which was integral to holding the character together. Some scenario changes were there obviously, the movie barely mentions most of the science that the book does, and plenty of hassles that Watney overcomes are removed altogether. But I can see why those creative changes were made. SO I can say as a person generally very critical of any movies made from books, that The Martian will not only remain one of my all time favorite books, but in this case, the movie is always going to have a special standing as well.

Not surprising this book inspired me twice

the-martian-artthe-martian-art-2

Favorite Lines:
1. Hell yeah I’m a botanist! Fear my botany powers! (pg. 18)
2. But with all due respect to Carl, I can call it whatever the hell I want.I’m the King of Mars. (pg. 114)
3. They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially “colonized” it. So technically, I colonized Mars.
In your face, Neil Armstrong! (pg. 172)
4. I’ll spend the rest of the evening enjoying a potato. And by “enjoying” I mean “hating so much I want to kill people. (pg. 375)
5. If I could have anything, it would be a radio to ask NASA the safe path down the Ramp. Well if I could have anything, it would be for the green-skinned yet beautiful Queen of Mars to rescue me so she can learn more about this Earth thing called “lovemaking”. (pg. 377)

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Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Opening Sentence: On the second day of December in a year when a Georgia peanut farmer was doing business in the White House, one of Colorado’s greatest resort hotels burned to the ground.

Stephen King once again proves he is the master of this game. This is a sequel to The Shining that is drastically different from it’s predecessor in terms of location, style and execution but in no way at all is it any less of a classic King novel.
Any lover of King will know that King has variations in his style of writing. He can execute bone chilling horror just as well as he tugs at heart strings, and this book is nothing if not an example of the latter.

Daniel Torrance, survivor of the horrors at the Overlook, is dealing with a past that haunts him. The Overlook and everything that happened since has brought him to a point in life where he wants to silence his mind and numb his Shining away by drinking. It wasn’t until hitting rock bottom on a night that will haunt him for years that he decides it’s time to fight his own demons and maybe other people’s as well. This brings him to a town where in time he will meet Abra Stone. A little girl so powerful that she could be dangerous, but blissfully unaware of her capabilities, which makes her a target for a cannibalistic group of soul eaters who prey on children with such powers.

Stephen King said there was some trepidation in writing a sequel to The Shining. His fear being that any classic as good as The Shining is very hard to live up to and chances are a sequel ruins things. He had nothing to fear because years later, even when the world has changed, King’s ability to push boundaries between supernatural and psychological horror has not. I also found myself inwardly squealing at the little nods to NOs4A2 by Joe Hill. When Charlie Manx and Christmasland were mentioned, I felt proud of knowing exactly what King was talking about.

What I wasn’t expecting, especially while reading a King book, was to fall in love. Daniel Torrance is such a beautiful man, and while I’m sure Mr. King won’t appreciate me gushing over his main character, I can’t seem to be able to help myself. The relationship of Dan and Abra is so pure that I was touched. Very few writers, and I mean VERY few writers, could have pulled it off with the beauty that Stephen King did. I’ve never read anything like it. There was so much substance to the story that I felt a deep emotional connection to it. My first instinct after finishing this book was to write a huge fan letter to Mr. King but it turns out I can’t. But needless to say Doctor Sleep is going to be one of my all time favorite Stephen King books and my unrivaled favorite read of 2016.

Have some Doctor Sleep fanart on your way out 🙂

doctor-sleep-art

Favorite Lines:
1. When you couldn’t sleep, when you were afraid to look around because of what you might see, time elongated and grew sharp teeth. (pg. 97)
2. There was something he hadn’t told Emil Kemmer; he was afraid that eventually he would get lost in a maze of phantom nightlife and never be able to find his way out again. (pg. 99)
3. That in turn made him think of some poem or other, one about how you could spend years running, but in the end you always wound up facing yourself in a hotel room, with a naked bulb hanging overhead and a revolver on the table. (pg. 569)

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