Author: Andy Weir
Total approximate words: 1,39,000
Wow! Been a while I actually read something so prolific, so brilliant, so intricately detailed, so technically researched, so intensely imagined as this one hell of a blockbuster book as THE MARTIAN. I am sincerely out of adjectives to describe what a pleasure it was to read it. Another book that has similar vibes (kind of comes closer to the technicalities that an author gets into, of the protagonist and his/her environment) would be Yann Martel’s LIFE OF PI. I am sorry for using the F word here, but THE MARTIAN is one fucking awesome book.
For people who haven’t watched the movie yet (please, please read the book irrespective), here is a teeny tiny (because a summary will not justify the incredible story) brief of the story.
The story is of a man, Mark Watney (quite a legendary character), an astronaut who was on mars mission with five other astronauts, meets with an unprecedent accident during one of the stormy hours in the rocky-sandy planet, and is assumed dead by other astronauts, who are almost immediately forced to do an emergency evacuation from the planet because of the same storm, leaving Watney’s assumed dead body behind. Watney however miraculously survives the storm and the accident, and gains consciousness many hours after his shipmates are gone. He spends the next one and half years (549 days in mars) all by himself, figuring out how to survive on Mars, with limited food and water (from the artificial habitat that was created for the astronauts to stay for the limited time they were supposed to be there) and no communication with the Earth. The next 300 pages are how he used his mechanical engineering and botanist skills to grow potatoes in mars, convert his urine into drinkable water, make more water by extracting hydrogen from the rocket fuel hydrazine and combining it with oxygen (so there is enough water for the potatoes to grow), use plutonium to heat the water and heat the Rover (because Mars is cold as fuck in the night) that was available to drive around, converting the Rover into a mini trailer and driving more than 3500 kilometers in the rocks and crater filled terrain to get to the possible launching site to be able to have a chance to make it to the passing by Hermes (the ship that had the other five astronauts in it), which was attempting to rescue Watney and then eventually making it to Earth after another 211 days (hopefully; the book ends after Watney makes it to Hermes, so who knows Andy Weir might make a sequel to the book and dramatically change the expected ending into a an unexpected story, also because that’s what authors do, they fuck with your mind).
This book is a high on the cloud 9.5/10. Too many engineering/space/math jargons for this peasant as me to keep up. But that’s not Andy Weir’s fault, that’s my lazy ass that hated math in school.
The occasional F words in my review might make it sound like a PG rated review, but the book is definitely for all ages, assuming kids below 12 won’t have the patience to finish reading such books. On that note, Ciao.
Disclaimer: This review is based on my personal reading and understanding of the book with my own limited experiences and knowledge. It doesn’t guarantee the same level of satisfaction/ dissatisfaction to other readers, as well as the reviews could vary from individual to individual.
Nevertheless, happy reading!