I work with a lot of great people, and every now and then, I can be convinced to try reading a book that I ordinarily wouldn’t have chosen. I don’t tend to read a lot of science fiction (even though I love sci-fi tv shows and movies) because I find them to be horribly cheesy and just not my style. This, however, was amazing.
The Martian by Andy Weir is not a book that I would have picked up to read had it not been recommended to me. The premise is that an astronaut has been accidentally left on Mars and he has to survive until the next planned mission. Bryan, who recommended the book to me, described it as “apollo 13 meets Castaway” and I think that’s an apt description.
What was so great about the book was that it could have been overwhelmingly dry or boring – and I never felt that it was. Mark Watney, the astronaut, was sarcastic and funny – delightfully foul-mouthed, and irreverent. He’s the everyman astronaut, and he reacts in ways you can imagine yourself responding… well, except I’d spend some time rocking back in forth in the fetal position if I were stranded on Mars alone, which he never does.
Even better, although there are some pretty science-heavy description about how he used things to make water, heat, etc , the book never felt bogged down by those details. It was fast paced and I didn’t want to stop reading, in fact – I read the entire thing in one night.
The Martian is classified as science fiction, but it really isn’t. It is much more a book that happens to take place in space, than a science fiction story – there are no aliens (or rag tag group of oil drilling misfits – Armageddon, I love you) that appear to save him.
I know it may be a stretch for consideration, but you should try it.