Sunday 1 May 2016

Book Review - The Martian

Teena and I saw The Martian with  Matt Damon at the theatre. Excellent movie! Really loved it. I heard The Martian was just as good in book form so I had to give it a read.

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. 

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive. 

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth. 

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet. Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale.

The book is fabulous and exciting. Mark Watney has the same sense of humour in the book as he does in the movie.  It's necessary too for two reasons. First, it likely would have made for a fairly boring read, plus for somebody to survive all alone with little hope would require somebody that can look at things with some humour, and humour keeps hope alive.

Turns out there were some scenes left out of the movie that were in the book. In the book, Watney is telling his story through journals. In the movie, he is talking to a monitor, plus you get to see what is happening. The book is mostly his journal.

So if you're asking if you should see the movie first, then read the book or vice versa, it doesn't really matter. You can do it either way as one totally compliments the other.

This is a thrilling and fun read. Now that I've read the book, I'm looking forward to seeing the movie again.

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