Weir, Andy "The Martian" - 2011
"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." ... "Captain's Log, Stardate …" Oooops, wrong story! The star trekkers and star warriors went a lot further than our protagonist, Mark Watney.
I don't know why I decided to read this book because it is usually so out of my comfort zone, I'm not a fan of science fiction, I can't get over illogical assumptions or contradicting effects. This one seemed a little different. And it was. Mars is a planet that humans might get to land one of these days.
A great story, the third crew that ever lands on Mars is surprised by a dust storm and has to evacuate, leaving one of their crew behind, assumed dead. However, he isn't. Now he needs to survive until the fourth crew will arrive more than 3,000 km away from where he is situated at the moment. And, he needs to produce oxygen, water and food in order to survive. Luckily, he was the crew's botanist and engineer (what a coincidence!).
While nobody on earth knows he's still alive, he starts preparing his living quarters and a vehicle that will take him to his destination …
I don't want to give away too much but nothing turns out to go the way Mark intends it to go.
A fantastic story, well written. I really liked that the crew included two women, one of them being the commander, but also a German scientist and one with a very Spanish sounding name. Great mix.
While following Mark Watney's quest for survival, we get to know and love him. Besides being extremely intelligent, of course, he is a very humorous guy. You feel for him, you feel for everyone else, great writing!
There is a lot of technical detail in the book where the author explains how certain things function - not that I could follow them all - but it was great to see how this might work.
I also learned that Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, well, I knew that before but I don't think I'll ever forgot it again.
"The Martian" was made into a film and received the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
From the back cover:
"Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old 'human error' are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills - and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit - he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"