This month I was reading The Martian by Andy Weir. And by this month I mean I started it on the train on Friday and finished it on Saturday. Which is partly because it was a long train journey, so I got a lot read and partly because I liked it.
If there is anyone left in the world who hasn't read it or seen the film, it's about a man (Mark Watney) who is left behind on a mission to Mars. It starts off with his log entries about what happened and what he does in order to stay alive.
I struggled with it a little at first because through the log entries it really felt as if I was all alone, despite being on a train full of people. And then just as it's looking like it's going to be one thing, other problems get thrown in, so rescuing him/him getting rescued is never quite sure. Until the book ended, I wasn't sure whether he was going to be rescued or he'd die (and I am not going to spoil it here).
It did feel a bit convenient that he was a botanist and engineer and consequently had all the skills needed to survive. But I can forgive that because if he hadn't had those skills he'd have died early on and it would be a much shorter, less interesting, book.
There were a few things that never really came up: how he dealt with being on his own, and how he and the rest of the crew dealt with all the radiation from being in space for so long. The second one was just never mentioned, despite a lot of detail about how supplies got to Mars and how they had some Mars gravity on the spaceship. The first one was vaguely mentioned, but only vaguely because the only stuff we got from Mark Watney's point of view were his log entries and he didn't really discuss it.
I'd quite like a companion book that went more into the emotional side of everything, than the practical side.
But aside from that, I liked it. I'll give it 8/10 - that 2 off is because of those bits above that weren't mentioned and because I think it ended too early (I understand why it ended where it did, but I still wanted some of the aftermath).
I'd like to see the film, mainly because I want to know how they dramatised it, but I will save watching that until I've forgotten the book a bit. Otherwise I'll just get annoyed with changes and bored with what's the same.
Mirrored from my blog.