How to survive in Mars? Read The Martian by Andy Weir!

by Vanathi Parthasarathi on July 22, 2014

The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Publisher: Ebury Publications
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9780091956448
Rating: ★★★★★
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When you pick a book from your ‘To-read’ list, every once in a while, you pick up a book and wonder why you wanted to read this boring/unusual/unheard-off book but still give it a chance and when you are done with it, you realize that you must never doubt your judgment. This book is one such.

The first page of the book reads,
“I’m stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth. Everyone thinks I’m dead. I’m in a Hab designed to last 31 days. If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m fucked.”

Sounds a little quirky, doesn’t it? This is precisely why you should not miss out on this book. Mark Watney, a smart and resourceful engineer, one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars, is now stranded in Mars. Separated by a sandstorm from his team and presumed dead, the team leaves for Earth leaving him behind. Now he’s stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive–and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to get him first. Does he survive?

You remember that despair you felt for the main character while reading Robinson Crusoe or watching Cast Away? Well, that feeling comes to a nada when you read this book. At least they were all stranded in Earth! Andy Weir has done an excellent job with defining the character of Mark Watney. His super smartness, wit and snarkiness, never-give-up attitude and usage of humor and sarcasm as a coping mechanism when in distress presents a very different protagonist to the regular macho and super strong ones the readers usually encounter. With lines like “I can’t wait till I have grandchildren. When I was younger, I had to walk to the rim of a crater. Uphill! In an EVA suit! On Mars, ya little shit! Ya hear me? Mars!” and “Turns out the “L” in “LCD” stands for “Liquid.” I guess it either froze or boiled off. Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.”, you’ll see a novel blend of sci-fi, satire, and adventure-thriller. Andy Weir’s attention to detail stands out with his description of the different mechanisms in a simple language to his naïve readers. Though the story is filled with technical jargons, it still doesn’t evade the reader’s mind. The whole plot has not one single visible loophole which alleviates The Martian to join the most prestigious adventure-thriller books club where its peers are Jurassic Park, The Da Vinci Code, etc. I will not be surprised if this book is already on its way to a Hollywood adaptation.

With the USA today calling this book “a techno sci-fi at a level even Arthur Clarke never achieved”, this book is truly ingenious and one of the best sci-fi thrillers of recent times.

Read what the Wall Street Journal has to say about the book <http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304428004579351000913706472″ target=”_blank”>here

Written by Vanathi Parthasarathi

Love to read and have been reading since 5. Amatuer photographer and experimental cook! One of the best things in the world, according to me, is the smell of the pages in a book!

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