Book Banter: The Martian by Andy Weir

Title:  The Martian
Author:  Andy Weir
Genre:  Sci-Fi
Length:  384 pages
Where Stacie’s Copy Came From:  A friend’s personal collection
Plot Basics:  Mark Watney was left behind on Mars due to a freak accident that led his crew mates to believe he was dead.  The question facing Watney and really the world, is can he survive until rescue?

Banter Points:  I must admit, I was really nervous going into this book. I heard from several people that it was really good and that I would like it. Lots of pressure there to enjoy a book that isn’t one I would have selected on my own.

I’m glad that I read it. I found Watney’s humor to match my own. I’d like to think that should I find myself in similar circumstances, I would buckle down and figure out ways to look at the situation logically and in a similar step by step format. This also assumes that I have comparable skills, because, let’s face it, in no way am I remotely qualified to perform the same tasks that Watney does, let alone on Mars with the odds stacked against me.

Also, I know that I’m not as funny. I’m pretty sure NASA would find me quite boring.

  • The brilliance of this book is how the reader is drawn into wondering “What if…”
    What if I was stuck on Mars?
    What if I had to figure out how to grow food?
    What if I had been left for dead?

The personality of Watney is what made this book for me. Not only was he a super smart science nerd, but a funny one (and folks, I was told about sci-fi references. I didn’t get all of them. Imagine how much funnier he would be if you were a Star Trek fan.)

I also was genuinely concerned. Up until the last page, I didn’t know for sure if Watney would, in fact, be rescued. I was on the read of my seat reading, slightly frantic to find out. (The Word Nerds are typically a spoiler free zone, so I’ll leave you hanging too.)

Bummer Points:  The movie stars Matt Damon, and I couldn’t quite get his voice out of my head. I like Matt Damon as an actor in several different roles. This is definitely an issue I have as a reader; I dislike it when the movie version interferes with the “in my head” version. I think I would have been okay if I had read this prior to the movie release. Of course, the jokes about the amount of money spent saving Matt Damon didn’t help either.

Stacie’s Recommendation:  Entertaining and worthwhile reading.  I’m glad I followed my friend’s advise and read this one.



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