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
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)