Finished reading on November 19th, 2013
“The Martian” is about a poor astronaut called Mark Watney who gets accidentally left on Mars after the rest of the crew evacuates back to Earth.
So the story goes like this – it’s some time in the future, when there have been two Ares missions to Mars, both with a crew of six astronauts. The story starts with the evacuation of the third crew with the Ares 3 mission, as the wind speed is getting too dangerous for the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), which is the only way back to Earth. While hurrying towards MAV one of the astronauts gets hit with an antenna from a flying communications system and is lost in the dust storm. Although the crew searches for him for a while, it seems as if he’s lost and dead.
But fortunately he is not, and after gaining consciousness he realizes that he has been left behind. And now starts his survival story – the lonely man’s struggle to stay alive on a lifeless red planet.
He has a lot of challenges on the way – he has no method of communications with the Earth for starters, only about after he’s been alone for two months do the satellites reveal that he might possibly be alive.
It’s a really action packed book, and would be great reading for anyone interested in space exploration.
In the beginning I was a little disturbed by the astronaut’s strong language, but as you get to know more about his situation, you can forgive him.
It seems that the author has done a lot of research for this book which made it so excellent.
I liked it because it showed the situation from the perspectives of many people – Mark’s to start off, and then Mission Control’s and from the perspective of the rest of the Ares 3 crew as well. Also I found it interesting how the author had put together so many accidents (which of-course all might occur if you have to stay on Mars for one and a half Earth years all alone) and it still ended happily. Well of-course it would have been sad if he’d just missed one necessary component of something or just didn’t know what to do or didn’t have enough food to last so long…. but as most of the book is in a log- book format, then naturally it couldn’t very well exist if he hadn’t survived for that long.
I hope this book will be made into a movie. It’s got excitement, romance, comedy, adventure and space exploration, so you can’t get much better than that! (plus there are no aliens here, and the only food that the astronaut is able to grow is potatoes, so not too far-fetched).