2016 Reading Challenge: The Martian

WOWZA.

Guys, THIS BOOK!

By now everyone knows the story of this book. And I imagine most people also know that it was originally self published. I know just about every person alive has an opinion on this book. This will be mine.

I cannot praise this book enough. I don’t know if the science is 100% accurate, but it doesn’t matter. He made me believe every single word of it. It’s odd because this is both one of the funniest books I’ve read while also being one of the most hopeless.

I admit that I’d seen the movie beforehand, but as great as the movie and Matt Damon were, they don’t come close to the original.

  • The writing style
  • The humor
  • The SCIENCE

I loved every one of those things in this book. I talked about the language used in my book as being unnecessary and forced. This book showed me the difference between a true professional and an amateur. He used cussing throughout the book, but you know what? IT WORKED PERFECTLY. I’m not sure why people criticize authors sometimes for using language that we use every single day of our lives. I don’t think it makes any sense. So I imagine there would be individuals who’d say they’re turned off by the language in the book. My response would be that THEY LEFT HIM ON MARS. IT ISN’T GOING TO BE SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS.

Whew. Moving on.

I enjoyed the interaction between all of the characters because I felt that it most represented how people actually interact instead of how characters typically interact in books and on TV shows. It never feels natural to me.

I have nothing negative to say about the book. How often does that happen with me!? But I can’t write this post without talking about Mark Watney. He’s very likely the funniest character I’ve ever read. Which is crazy because he was left for dead on Mars! I enjoyed all of his scientific explanations for the crazy things he was doing to stay alive, though I understand why they were largely left out of the movie.

There is one other part of this book I want to talk about. Rarely does all of humanity get behind something. Actually, it doesn’t happen. But in this book that’s exactly what happened. Billions of people were behind Watney. They were working to get him food. They were praying for him. They were coming up with rescue plans. It comes down to something Bill Nye said throughout Unstoppable. He said earth is our only home for now, but I’d take it a step further. Earth is our only home but every one of us is human. We spend enormous amounts of resources, money, time, and human capital just trying to tear each other apart. We kill mercilessly and needlessly. And we view our own brothers and sisters as enemies. I think our possibilities as humans are limitless, if only we could recognize the potential that we’d have simply by working together. We could go to Mars faster than we anticipate. We could cure disease for everyone, not just the West. We could end military conflicts that go on and on with no end in sight. We could raise the quality of life for every person on earth. And we could live in a more prosperous and peaceful world. If only we could recognize that there’s a common ground between every one of us.

Thanks, Andy Weir. For writing a book that shows us exactly what humanity is capable of if we simply work together. Now let’s get to moving closer to that vision.

This satisfied the requirement to read a book set in a foreign country. I mean, Mars is another planet! Ha!

Have you read The Martian!? What did you think?

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12 thoughts on “2016 Reading Challenge: The Martian

  1. Making sure to actually pick up a copy the next time I am “eye balling” it 🙂

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  2. I LOVED it. I had only one complaint. Because everyone and their brother had read it before me, I knew Mark Watney lived. That somehow they got him home. And I would have really liked to see what the suspense would have added. That said, it was totally my fault and I know it. LOL.
    I thought the book amazing. Funny. Smart. Sciency without any “As you know Bob…” I refuse to watch the movie so Hollywood can’t ruin it for me. LOL

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  3. Hey man!! It’s been a while! My fault, of course, but oh well.

    I haven’t read it, but it’s on my TBR list, so I’m hoping to get to it eventually. Sounds like you made great progress on your reading challenge. Go you!

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  4. I saw The Martian before I read it. I actually loved the book more than the movie. I thought the cursing was actually funny in the book just like in the movie. The way the author writes makes it work. I think the book is really a great read.

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  5. The Martian was hands down one of the best books I’ve read this year. ‘Nuff said. 😄

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