Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Book Review: The Martian

It doesn't happen often (okay, it totally does) but sometimes a book is SO FRICKING GOOD that I have to do its review all alone.  I initially wanted to review The Martian and Red Rising together because Mars, but I refuse to make Mark Watney share space with anyone else.

Share space?!?! It's sort of a pun and I didn't even mean to!!

I almost don't want to review this book because I'm terrified that I'll say something moronic and it will make you NOT want to read it, when alls I want in the whole wide world is for EVERYONE to read this book.  And love it.  No pressure.

From the back of the book: I’m stranded on Mars.

I have no way to communicate with Earth.

I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.

If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

So yeah. I’m screwed.

It sounds a tiny bit stupid, I know. BUT IT'S JUST NOT!!!

This book was absolutely the most thrilling book I've ever read. Granted, I don't read a lot of thrilling books (I have a bit of an issue with anxiety...) and normally, I steer clear of anything to do with space because it's scary, but this? This book was absolutely BRILLIANT.

First, Andy Weir is a god.  I think he might actually be a better writer than SK.  Maybe not a better storyteller per se (after all, this is ONE book, right?) but his writing style is absolutely flawless.  Plus? All! The! Exclamation! Points! I loved it for the Rosie Project and I love it even MORE here!

So the amount of research he must have done for this book is staggering.  Unless he either a: already knew all that chemistry and physics crap (some people apparently do just happen to know this?) or b: made it all up.  I hope he didn't make it up.  Even if he did, it sounds amazing.  Detailed step by step instructions for taking hydrogen out of the air to make it water (I think?) that didn't bore me even a tiny bit? WINNING.

The entire time I was reading this, I was frantically texting both my dad and Angela, trying to convince them to read it with me.  I kept snapping pics of my favorite lines, but truly, there were at least a hundred.  Spoilers abound, sort of.  But you can assume from the premise and the fact that it's more than one page that SOMETHING happens, other than Mark sitting in the HAB until he starves to death, so its really not too spoilery.

First, the line that made me fall in love with the book for the very first time.

His dumbassery almost got him killed!!! This is when I immediately stopped to text my father.

The next one is probably the most spoilery. Sort of.  You've been warned.

Then this one? This one made me fall in love with Mark Watney.  And Andy Weir.  I mean, he's trapped on Mars, all alone, and he still has a sense of humor? YES PLEASE.

And then these four gems are the ones I just happened to have shots of because I texted them to my dad.  Lol.  We have a great relationship right?

Glowing hot ball of radioactive death! And equally as hilarious since I say it ALL THE TIME: I'm exaggerating a little.  I DIE. The ONLY thing that would have been better is if he'd said he MIGHT BE exaggerating a little, bc that's what I usually say.  Anyway.  We've also got the classic that's what she said.  The one that made me laugh until I cried, as with most of life's problems, this one can be solved by a box of pure radiation.  And another example of the brilliance of Mark slash Andy Weir- at the prospect of sitting around doing nothing for twelve hours: I better get started! Complete with exclamation point.

Also hilarious, but I didn't take pics: when Mark finds a USB in his captian's stuff and realizes it's FULL of disco music- Disco. God damn it,  Lewis. On duct tape- Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped. On his laptop not working outside the hab: Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10."

I could LITERALLY do this for hours.  This book was HILARIOUS.  Also? Extremely moving and heartfelt, I sobbed my way thru the ending even though I'd cheated and read the end at the beginning. (I'm scared of space and had to make sure I wasn't going to have a problem.  Also, I'm addicted to looking ahead.  What of it?)

I loved every single thing about it.  Truly.  I cannot name one single thing I didn't like about it, not one. I'm EXTREMELY nervous about Matt Damon being Mark in the movie, but I'm trying to remind myself of how hilarious he was on 30 Rock.

NOT HIT THE BIRDS.  That's what I do every day. 

So maybe there's hope. But I swear to God, if they fuck up this movie...I'll be really upset.  That's all I can do because I'm just me.  I'm not Mark Watney.

One more fabulous line before I head out: I started with a large rigid sample container (or 'plastic box' to people who don't work at nasa).

Okay, one more after that one.  I"m going thru my texts to my dad and I can't stop cutting and pasting!!! It's a problem.

I tested the brackets by hitting them with rocks. This kind of sophistication is what we interplanetary scientists are known for.

Okay, one more. Reflecting that his old professor says if you grow something somewhere, you've colonized it, so he's colonized Mars. 

In your face Neil Armstrong!!!

Oh shit, one more. I gotta look it up because I quit texting my dad because he never responded.   Work smerk.

I need to ask myself, what would an Apollo astronaut do? He'd drink three whiskey sours, drive his Corvette to the launchpad, then fly to the moon in a command module smaller than my Rover. Man those guys were cool. 

Bottom line: READ THIS BOOK.  Or seriously, we're not friends anymore. I know I say that a lot, but I mean it this time. 

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