A staple of old school science fiction is the lone man stranded on a desolate world who had to survive on his wits alone. The Martian by Andy Weir follows boldly in that tradition with a fun tale filled with adventure and ingenuity.
Our hero finds himself stranded on Mars when his fellow astronauts leave him behind. They can be forgiven for this since they thought he was dead. And thus we start a long journey into the trials and tribulations of being a human on Mars. This is a fun book filled with bad jokes and hard science, or what I take to be hard science since I know nothing about living on Mars. The Techno Babble sounds good and most of it made perfect sense.
My old Twitter buddy @WhoBrannigan recommended this book to me and I have to thank him for that. I listened to the audiobook version and R. C. Bray does a great job as Narrator. Good timing and enthusiasm.
The Martain is one of those books that has a lot of surprises and a lot of things that make you say-well, should have seen that one coming. The gags are surprising, even after you have enough of them under your belt that you should be expecting them. As might be expected in a book about a man alone on Mars, there are a lot of near death experiences, but none of them ever seem all that serious. Maybe having a smart ass for a hero makes me take his wise cracks more serious than his reports of serious situations.
There are a few f-bombs here and there, including the first sentence. But hey, these are hard core space jockeys, so a little rough language fits the situation. We have a few other people in the story, but the bulk of the heavy lifting is done by our lonely Martian. Most of the time he was good enough.
The Martian is clearly aimed at folks who grew up in the 60s and 70s, lots of talk about Disco and Happy Days and other things of that nature. Which made it a fun read for me.
The Martian is not a very serious book, but it’s not exactly full tilt comedy either. I liked it, but it might have been a bit better if it had chosen one or the other.