Reviews · The Foundry

The Martian – Book Review

Now I read this book at the start of the year, picking it up from WHSmith in Victoria station as a impulse buy because it had Matt Damon on the front cover. Rushing through the self-check out to buy it before my train came in.

I am not one for impulse buying, usually I would leaves things for a while, consider it and then purchase it. However I had been hearing good things about The Martian, from the film that would be coming out soon and just the general buzz about the book from the forums I go to.

I sat down on the train with my drink and started reading.

The plot is that of a astronaut called Mark Whatney being stranded on Mars, things go wrong during an expedition and his team leaves him for dead and head back to Earth. Mark survives, after a brief panic attack (who wouldn’t have one at being stranded this far away from civilisation) he gets to work, trying to survive and ultimately get back to Earth.

The main character is Mark Whatney, a botanist and a mechanical engineer on the mission to Mars. He is a wise cracking person, however throughout the story you can see his serious side.  On the NASA side there is Venkat Kapoor, the first person to realise the situation on Mars and move into action.

I liked the changes in pov, whenever the chapters dealt with Mark it was in the form of diary/journal entries and whenever it switched back to Earth it went back to a third person limited. It was a refreshing way to plan a story, one that I was pleasantly surprised with.

I finished the book in a few days, was a very easy read. I like the little amounts of troubleshooting that Mark did through the story, I like stories along these lines where the characters have to deal with problems. I felt some characters were weak, but overall Mark Whatney and Venkat Kapoor’s characters drove the story.

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