Book reviews

Martian by Andy Weir – Out of the world, literally

So, that’s it. That is how I come to know of this book. A recommendation by Ramesh Srivats (If you don’t know him, follow him right away on twitter and facebook to receive funny yet deep thoughts on everything, everyday). Here is a man who is insanely witty and knowledgeable and quite possibly well read. Many twitter celebs do the paid tweet thing, but not this person, nor does this book need one. If he says it is the best book he read in ages, this got to be. Rushed off to flipkart and read the description. *wow*. Saw the price. *okay*. Put the book on my wishlist and forgot, almost. New year started and I wanted to start off the year by an amazing book, hence remembered my wishlist. Thankfully now I have Kindle and the price of the ebook version is in my range(*you can do the same, read in Kindle app in you mobile or tab*). Thus started my journey into the Mars and stunning book by Andy Weir.


The book description is a better introduction to this story than any of we readers can give about it. It sums up the situation pretty well. It’s Cast away plus Gravity set on Mars. As if this isn’t enough, the first lines of the book reads, “I’am pretty much fucked”. Martian is a story of an Astronaut named ‘Mark Watney’ who was left alone on Mars because of an accident. The book is about the struggle of Watney to live on the red planet his adventures there and his further plans to return. That is all I can say without any spoilers. To know how he lived and if he actually returned to earth, Read the book.

Every chapter is written wonderfully. There is enough action sequences and humorous lines in what mostly this book is, a journal entry by a lost astronaut. The build up to the major thriller elements are so well written, one doesn’t put the book down. The way our Watney takes care of these adventures and himself in the process is incredible. For a book of this premise, one expects or dreads lot of science depending on one’s interests and fears. This book will be a great read to both of them. The science part is impressively written that one doesn’t feel it’s boring and also mostly true, yes, almost true science in a work of fiction set in a different planet. One might wonder, science, thriller are okay but how come a journal log of a lone guy on a planet funny? It is, Our Mark is not just a brilliant nerdy scientist, he is equally funny, resourceful and cool. He is like John Nash and James Bond into one. There is a TWSS joke and Agatha Christie reference in this sci fi book, that’s how diverse this is. For people still thinking 300 odd pages of monologue should be boring, No, it isn’t boring even for a page. Take my word.

Yes, for a human to be lost on a planet, there has to be lot of philosophy about hope in the book. Sadly it doesn’t even explore that angle even for a page. Andy Weir said in an interview that he didn’t want to make this book not of melodrama. okay then, not much of problem, Andy. The book however focused initially on the minute details but doesn’t do so by the end. In the ending things become a little predictable but Watney’s coolness makes up for it. No complaints there either. Few people might have a complaint about the depth of the book’s Botany, Physics and Chemistry but not me, I enjoyed it. Overall, the reader feels so great about the book there aren’t much things to critic.

Andy Weir has written a great debut book, that’s what it is. He has written the next Hollywood blockbuster(Matt Damon to play Mark Watney). On a Mars mission of 6 people Andy’s choice of making a woman the commander of the mission need a mention. Last paragraph of the book is the best paragraph of the book and it’s not about science or some funny lines, it is about humanity. It is in the end an amazing read. So if the answer to any of Ramesh Srivats’ question is yes, read on,this will go on to become one of the best books read for anyone.

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