Book Review — The Martian by Andy Weir

The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Had I read this novel in high school, I certainly would have wanted to work for NASA and study physics in university.

What more can you say about a book that urges you to hit the textbooks harder to be as awesome as the people in The Martian?

This one took a while to win me over, though. It starts off as a slow and incredibly detailed man vs. nature story set on Mars. I had to warm up to it because I wasn’t sure what to think at first, and a one-person story is quite different from my preferred genres of huge casts of characters, intricate and complicated plots, and conflicting relationships.

But then it started picking up. New (and many) problems arise, and the character finds more and more ingenious ways of solving them. More POVs are introduced (which saved the book. It was right when I almost stopped listening). The deeper we get into the book, the more attached we become and it wasn’t too long after that I was completely hooked. I loved the character. I loved the snark. I loved the science. I loved how it felt like I was actually there: on Mars, in mission control, on a spaceship.

The Martian feels like you are reading a thriller, but you get the same satisfaction and learning as you do from a documentary.

I have learned more about chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, botany, and astronomy from The Martian than I have from all the science I studied in high school,

The end has an extremely uplifting note about humanity and our innate goodness and willingness to come together for a common goal (especially when that goal is science). I’m a grimdark fan, but this gave me butterflies in the final paragraphs. It’s a departure from a bleak worldview that doesn’t hit you over the head with morals or annoyingly good characters.

Overall, I loved this book. If you’re looking for an impressive and accurate take on astronauts and their space-faring adventures and mishaps, I encourage you to read The Martian and to pass it along to a friend who needs to be reinvigorated by the awesomeness that is science.

Does anyone know anything similar set in the wilderness? I’d love to read/learn about woodland survival skills through a book similar to this.

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