‘The Martian’ Mixes Humor, Science, Action

'The Martian' Mixes Humor, Science, Action

By Michaela Anderson, Reporter

Mark Watney is completely and utterly alone. The novel revolves around an astronaut trying to survive on the red planet, Mars. After a strong dust storm, the Ares 3 crew is forced to abandon their post and leave behind their botanist, Watney (who, at the time, they believed to be dead). However, against all odds, he happens to be very much alive.

The Martian is a novel written by Andy Weir. It was originally self-published in 2011; Crown Publishing purchased the rights and re-released it in 2014. Weir began writing the book in 2009, researching related material so that the book would be as realistic as possible and based on existing technology. Weir studied orbital mechanics, astronomy, and the history of manned spaceflight. The book has a 4.4 rating on Goodreads and a 4.5 on the Barnes and Noble website.

The novel is incredibly scientific, more than any book I’ve read before. I could probably say that’s what drew me in at first. As someone who’s a bit of an outer-space junkie, this book filled literally all of my fantasies. I may have not understood any of the scientific terms, but I pretended I did.

Not to mention, Andy Weir created a realistic character that has a wise-cracking attitude. His emotions can be related to. He admits from the beginning he is screwed but doesn’t bow down to defeat for long before establishing an escape plan. I probably laughed more than I should have, considering that Watney was in a life or death situation, but Mark is one hilarious character.

Even during the times when it looks impossible, he had a witty comeback or a hilarious remark. Without Watney, this book would have been a scientific look at survival of Mars; instead what we have is a realistic look at an intelligent human being stranded on Mars. Although I found it kind of weird that Mark stayed so optimistic during his time on Mars, because I know that I’d  be filled with self-pity and sadness all the time if I were in that situation. Then again, everyone reacts differently to certain situations.

I enjoyed the description that the book had the offer and the way it was set up–going day by day (or rather, sol-by-sol) until the very end. If you plan to read this book, I’d definitely recommend it as it’s easily one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time.