The Book: It seems like most people fall into two categories: artist or scientist. There’s a lot of spill over and some interesting sub-categories, but that seems to be the big split. I fall squarely into the artist group. I generally avoid science fiction because of, uh, the science-y details and machine things. But, The Martian got me.
I think it’s the way he talks. Watney reminded me very strongly of some good friends I had in high school- brilliant, uber-nerds (in the time before nerd culture was cool) who could program computers and re-build cars easily and, sometimes, did so just for fun. They were/are quick with the self deprecating humor and well-timed, swear-filled rants if it suits them. I was laughing at Watney’s sarcasm, just as I did at theirs, and reading as fast as I could because it really felt tense, especially towards the end.
I enjoy survival stories anyway, but The Martian took it to a whole other level. Don’t be put off by the physics/astrophysics/mechanics of it. Artists and scientists alike will find a whole lot to enjoy here.
If you liked this book, try Naked and Marooned: One Man. One Island. by Ed Stafford or The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. Both of those are excellent, non-fiction survival stories but they take place strictly on earth rather than in space. The reader gets the suspense of life threatening situations but without the, sometimes complicated, scientific dance that takes place in The Martian.
The Film: The director and producer did an excellent job bringing The Martian to the big screen. Watney’s humor, the part of the book that I enjoyed the most, was really highlighted. Matt Damon fit the part perfectly. Check out this pin that I found on Pinterest…
Too funny… Thanks for reading! -Heidi