My Take: The Martian by Andy Weir

My Take: The Martian by Andy Weir


My reading of The Martian was one long-running reaction of, “How did Andy Weir research this much material?” The answer in a moment. The reason for the question is this: the story follows the desperate struggle of astronaut Mark Watney to survive alone on Mars, and the main character applies countless implementations of chemistry, biology, physics, and math to ensure survival. Sounds boring, right? Wrong! The story moves so swiftly from one edge-of-death experience to the next that I found myself rooting for principles of science and Watney’s brain to pull him out of the fire again and again. And despite the grim circumstances, the story is told with an abundance of gallows humor, both from Watney’s perspective and the perspective of those on Earth trying to rescue him.


So what about the question? How did the author research this much material? Easy. His entire life has been devoted to a fascination with science, space, and planning a Mars expedition. In other words, Mr. Weir has prepared for decades to write this novel. The result is a miracle that makes Robinson Crusoe and Hatchet look like child’s play. This novel is destined to be a classic! [Addendum: The film did a respectable job of capturing the tone and humor of the novel]

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