The Martian by Andy Weir

9781101905005_p0_v2_s192x300Andy Weir may be the modern Jules Verne, going beyond “From the Earth to the Mooon” in his science fiction blockbuster The Martian, self-published in 2011.  When the book appeared in pocketbook size, with Matt Damon on the cover, I decided to finally read it. After the first chapter, I almost stopped;  the misery of scientific and mathematical speak was painful. The lack of editing had me wishing for a red pencil.  

But I turned the page, and the story suddenly was exciting.

Although I knew Mark Watney survived, I did not know how.  So many setbacks, so many innovative solutions, rivaling creative problem-solving sets from an Olympics of the Mind competition – how did Andy Weir do it? Despite the geeky forays into computer code and chemical balances, the story has humor and wonderfully cynical asides. Weir, the programmer and space enthusiast, clearly had fun detailing the complicated repairs for each new crisis, but after a while I skipped over them to return to the humanizing and gripping trial of this lone man on a distant planet.

Now I want to see the movie.

Related ReviewPacking for Mars



Pilgrimage to a Bookstore

Bookends in Kailua is one of a rare breed here in Hawaii, and I feel compelled to go to the bookstore regularly, visit with the well-read staff, browse the piles of new and used books, and buy books, hoping my purchase helps to keep them in business.

Today, the bookseller and I agreed we may the last people on earth who have not read The Martian.  Of course, I had to buy it – it was on sale.

I found a few others too…assuaging my fear of not having a book ready to read when my library requests are delayed.