Mark Watney is on a Mars mission with his crew when they encounter a disastrous storm. Everyone evacuates thinking Mark is dead, only to have him not only survive but have no way of telling anyone that he’s still alive. Finding himself stranded, Mark documents his day-to-day while trying to survive long enough to establish contact and hopefully get rescued. Except that help is millions of miles away.
I don’t know what took me so long to finally get around to reading this book. I had heard so many great things, and with the opening line alone, I was hooked. Despite what you think the title may imply, it’s not a “sci-fi” book. It actually took me a moment to realize that Mark IS the Martian. It’s not a science fiction book about aliens. While some of the story can get a bit heavy on scientific terminology, the narrative is so conversational that it’s easy to follow along with what was going on. Or at least have enough of an idea to be able to enjoy the journey.
That conversational tone also surprised me as I was expecting something much more serious and dire. It made this book such an entertaining and easy read. Don’t get me wrong, Mark is stuck in some very serious and very dire situations, and there are certainly some incredibly harrowing moments, which is what makes his jokey jovial outlook such an interesting character. That juxtaposition, making light of some intense scenarios, has the readers rooting for Mark Watney.
I’ve recommended this book to many friends, especially those who love some adventure. Some have been put off by the title but, like I said, it’s not science fiction. It’s an action-packed read with a climactic ending. With the movie coming out on October 2, I know many are wary at whether it will do justice to this book, but when I heard Matt Damon was playing the lead character, I thought it was perfect casting. He can absolutely pull off the personality of Watney and I’m so excited to see the film.