This is a highly entertaining story about an astronaut who is accidentally marooned on Mars by his team. If you enjoy sci-fi and especially like characters who can invent or modify gadgets as well as MacGyver, then you should give this a read. Mark Watney is a man trained in botany and engineering, both of which may help him survive until a rescue mission can be mounted. His log entries reveal the emotions he feels as he struggles to stay alive - including frustration with the Disco music and 70s TV shows some of the others brought along as entertainment. As you read, you become one of the millions on Earth who are cheering for him to find a way home.
The Martian is science fiction - no fantasy elements, no paranormal abilities or supernatural entities, no extra-terrestrials; it could be called "pure" sci-fi. Weir shows us the incredible amount of mathematics and scientific know-how that is required of astronauts, especially those stranded on a planet without a breathable atmosphere or edible flora or fauna. The protagonist must solve multiple problems just to stay alive long enough to have a chance at solving the problem of escaping Mars and returning home. Readers come to know Watney as we follow his remarkable efforts to produce oxygen and food, establish contact with mission control, and try to survive injuries, explosions, and sand storms (among other hazards).
The tension of the NASA personnel on Earth who are trying to organize a rescue is so convincing that I found myself gripping the book tightly and leaning forward as if I could jump right into the story and offer to help. Several movie plots have revolved around expeditions to Mars, but this book does the best job of making it believable.
Visit the publisher's website for more information about the book , or the author. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
* 10/03/15 I just returned from watching the movie based on this book. It was a very good adaptation of the story. Here is the trailer for the movie.
Beaks and Geeks podcast with Andy Weir Q&A with Andy Weir