The Martian

Imagine walking up on the surface of Mars, to find that the rest of your crew had left you for dead and set off back to Earth. You have few supplies and no way to contact anyone.

I know what I would do. Crawl up in a ball and die. That is possibly why ESA are unlikely to select me for a manned mission to Mars. This question is the one put to protagonist Mark Watney. When we walks up on the surface of Mars, to find that the rest of the crew have gone…

Oh, and there are some spoilers in this article.

It is told from two perspectives. First of which is the log entries of Mark, which sometimes moves into a 3rd person description. The second is a third person narrative of what is going on back on Earth.

This is a little odd to go between the different forms, and also gives the lot away to some point. If Dr Hassall had not already ruined the ending for me, I suspect the fact that there was a separate thread based on Earth would have lead me to guess the eventual outcome.

In some ways, certainly in the first half the book, it would have been better to solely tell the story from Watney’s log entries. If you had to have a strand based on Earth you could have put the entire thing as a part 2 at the end of the book. Joe Berlinger wanted to do something similar when filming Book of Shadows.

However, as time went on I settled down into the format.

I enjoyed it throughout. The humour was quite dark and very geeky in places. There was a lot of science, though nothing that a lay person such as myself would struggle to comprehend (I think). Plus, as Mark points out, in some ways it is a story about a space pirate. An actual space pirate. That’s pretty cool.

The Martian



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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 30th, 2015 at 10:58 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.