In my opinion one of the best films to have come out in 2015. Which is why when I saw this book on sale for a discounted price, I quickly snapped it up. I completed the read in the space of 9 days. For starters I am a massive space lover and was on my way to complete an Astrophysics Degree at University. So this whole story was right up my street, even with the few inaccuracies present in the book.
“Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.”
Now I have to be completely honest the first few pages were tough to get through, but once I was in tune with the tone of the book, I flew through it. This might be due to the fact I knew roughly what was going to happen due to seeing the film first.
Writing was spot on, use of the comedic personality to bring Mark Watney (protagonist) to life was brilliant. I don’t think anyone would really want to read a book about a boring cynical person stuck on Mars, it wouldn’t be as entertaining. My favourite line from the book which actually made it into the film is:
He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?”
“I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”
LOG ENTRY: SOL 61 How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.
At this time in the story, Mark Watney has been alone on Mars for around 30 Sols (days). He has come to the realisation early on in the story that NASA are probably unaware of his surviving the storm that his crew thought to be his demise. So the comedic juxtaposition between the seriousness of NASA’s worrying about his mental health, which of course should be suffering, and what he’s actually thinking about, is really well done. This type of writing where the author switches between Earth and Mars in comedic ways, carries on through out the book.
The sheer will to survive in such dark times is key to our evolution. And all of this is personified within the protagonist. He uses maths and science and a whole lot of “outside the box thinking” to get around various quandaries he finds himself in.
All in all a wonderful fiction story. Personally I wouldnt classify it as a science fiction story as it doesn’t have the qualities of the science fiction genre.
My verdict, go read the book, go watch the film it doesn’t matter in which order, both are brilliant.