Adventures in Books… The Martian

The_Martian_2014

“I’m stranded on Mars.

I have no way to communicate with Earth.

I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.

If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

So yeah. I’m screwed.”

This is another bookclub choice and I can definitely say I would not have picked it up if it hadn’t been chosen by the group. I stay away from space travel or science fiction books as I do not like anything too technical.

However I quite enjoyed this book.

I think this was mainly to do with the tone in which it was written. It was a tone as though you were listening to someone talk and that made it very easy to read. The science was kept simple because of this I think. It definitely felt like being in someone’s head.

I’m still not sure whether I liked the main character and actually think I preferred the chapters based back on Earth, rather than Mark’s exploration of Mars and trying to survive. I kept thinking all the way through – this can only end one of two ways: they rescue him or they don’t. I felt like that dampened the reading experience for me. I just wanted to get to the end and will admit I skimmed quite bit in the middle of the book, just to make progress.

It is an interesting concept for a book. Humans aren’t good with pure isolation and in today’s world it is hard to find absolute isolation like there would be if you would stranded on another planet.  I think the psychological nature of the concept was played very well and subtly as the log entries progressed through time. I didn’t feel a huge sense of urgency throughout the book, which took away the thriller nature I was expecting. It didn’t feel like a race against time as made out in the summary.

I don’t want to give away anything that happened or how it ended so I will leave my musings there. I would recommend this book to my friends and family as I think it was an easy-ish read and sometimes could be quite funny.

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