Sorry I have been completely absent of late. I am currently writing up my PhD thesis. It’s been taking up pretty much all of my time. One might say I’ve been sciencing the shit out of things.
On to the review.
I’ve been meaning to read this for a really long time, but I finally got around to it and I loved it.
What’s it about: An astronaut is left alone on Mars when his team leaves him for dead (whoops!). He has to try to survive alone on Mars until he can be rescued.
What I thought: This book is so entertaining. Everyone I know who has read this all say the same thing: they read it in one sitting. It is absolutely impossible to put down.
I though the format in which this book was written both worked and didn’t at the same time. Mark Watney (astronaut left on Mars)’s perspective is written in the format of his log. It works in one way because it’s absolutely hilarious. I found the whole end of one log entry: “I’m going to go do the thing.” Then the start of the next log entry: “Bad things happened when I did the thing”. It was really entertaining, but it did mean that there was no urgency to anything.
One of my main thoughts about this book is that it is a really important book. Why? you might ask. Because it portrays a scientist in a positive light. That almost NEVER happens. Somewhere along the line, scientists started being the go-to villains in every story. I don’t know if you’ve ever met a scientist (If not, hello, how do you do? and now you have), but they are actually almost always really socially concious and moral people. Yes, we have huge egos, but we wouldn’t be able to do our jobs if we didn’t. We have one of the most difficult career path’s out there. Science is too much work and sacrifice to handle if you actually don’t care about trying to improve things. So stop with the evil scientist tropes. They actually do real world damage to science. They cause apathy and mistrust and it helps no one, but can end up hurting a lot of people. I could write an entire blog about the plight of science these days and the contribution of pop culture to those difficulties, but that’s not what this post is about. It’s about a dude on Mars.
I would highly recommend this book to any sci-fi lover. It is a quick and thoroughly entertaining read and the movie is also pretty awesome. Although they did this one thing at the end that was kind of stupid. But apart from that, it’s really good.
I rate it 4/5 stars.