Monday, February 22, 2016

The Martian by Andy Weir

image from librarything
I am not a fan of survivor stories.
I don't really need to know all the details of the heroic main character's stress and pain as they look for the one way to keep on living.
I also have an incredible case of claustrophobia - and space travel, ship travel, canoe travel, all of that just isn't something that I would voluntarily choose to do.
And I know that I wouldn't be able to exist in these stories - I would have given up long before the end of the story - so there wouldn't be a story - right!

All of that was going through my mind as I started to read this book club book.  I was ready to not really like the story.  I was also very wrong!

There is just the right amount of 'in your face' humor that made me really like Mark Watney -  mean really why would this guy even try to survive?  Why oh why?? He was stranded on a completely uninhabitable planet with no way to exist until rescue. And rescue was the only option. It wasn't like he was going to be able to create his own escape. Oh wait - he does.

I had decided I wasn't going to like this book - but I actually did.   What I didn't like was the callous view on life that NASA demonstrated - they were often much more concerned with their reputation and their future than with a single human life.   It felt often like the 'MACHINE' was much more important than a single man.  But that was balanced with the quirky nobodies who just did their job and solved the most impossible problems!

I enjoyed Watney and his ingenuity and humanity.  I liked the impossibility of this idea.  And I liked all the possibilities.

And the movie.  I really liked that. I watched it as we flew to Mexico and unfortunately the flight was shorter than the movie. So I saw it in pieces.  It was definitely worth it.  I was a little sad about the end of the movie. When Watney was getting closer to the Hermes - I didn't like the added problems. I just didn't think they were necessary. I did like the very end of the movie!  I liked to see the lives of the people continue on... that has always been a secret dream of mine - to see what happens to the characters of a book after the story ends. The movie allowed me a little glimpse.

Book 1 of my vacation reading.
January Book Club Book

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