I've had this one on my "To Read" list for some time. It came highly recommended to me by friends I trust for their taste in books. It gets rave reviews EVERYWHERE! Hubby even wanted to read it and read it before I did. I was absorbed in my Thursday Next books (another excellent series by the wonderful Jasper Fforde that I need to get a review up here for) and just figured the Martian could wait for me.
Of course, that was before the movie came out and the pressure mounted for me to read the damn book before we could go see the movie.
Now, I wonder why I waited so long to load this one up. WOW.
A team of astronauts in the future are on a mission to Mars when a storm blows in early into the mission and the team needs to abort the mission and head back to earth. Unfortunately, in the low visibility on the way to their escape craft, one of the team members, Mark Watney, is hit by debris and blown away from the crew. The captain takes (almost too much) time to look for him and figuring him to be dead, reluctantly joins the crew and leaves the planet.
While the team mourns the loss of their crewmate - Watney wakes up on Mars. Alone. Abandoned. Injured but saved by pure dumb luck. And he has no way to contact anyone.
Another mission isn't expected to land on Mars for several more years. Mark has enough supplies to last him part of that time but he faces starving to death before any rescue could happen. Luckily he is a resourceful guy - an engineer and a botanist - and he puts those smarts to work to help him quickly make a survival plan using what he has on hand.
When the NASA teams back on earth stumble on mars satellite imagery that shows proof beyond a doubt that Watney is still alive - they put all of the most brilliant minds they have to work at trying to save him.
Ok - I am not going to give anything away. I haven't seen the movie yet and I do hope people will read the book before they see it.
I loved this book. It was the perfect mix of funny, science geek, humanity, survival, adventure, and smarts. It worked "science speak" into the text in a way that made it super digestible and really interesting. I felt like I was a fly on the wall in every scene as this book drew me in deeper and deeper to the story. It's been a while since I've had a book do that. Sure, I've been reading alot lately but this story captured me, heart and soul. I think even someone who doesn't think they like science fiction, would really enjoy this book. It was a story with heart, brilliantly written and masterfully painted. The only thing I didn't care for was how abruptly it ended. I wanted to keep going and see how the rest would play out after the crew returned to Earth.
Ok - I think I kept it pretty spoiler free. I loved the book. Everyone I know who has read it - loved the book. YOU will love the book. Go read it. Read it before you head to the theatre.
Now, for fun, here's the movie trailer.