Don't expect too much from a nerdy blog, especially one that expects nobody to read.
According to my observation people don’t like this book mainly forDon't expect too much from a nerdy blog, especially one that expects nobody to read.
According to my observation people don’t like this book mainly for two reasons:
1. As a hard science fiction, it is scientific enough but not fictional enough. 2. The journey-style writing is pretentious, the plot predictable, and the characters flat.
Ok there’s a third one. Some people just hate dry wit in a book, let alone profanity. Perhaps they are right to some degree but that doesn’t make it less readable to me.
I’m not a sci-fi reader, to wit, I don’t particularly enjoy the fantastic premises or technical details. But I was really into it. The storyline is logical and the narration is elaborate. The dire plight sounds amazingly real and Mark Watney has a magnetic personality, which, unfortunately, seems too irreverent or one-dimensional to be liked by some. I also find the writing extremely appropriate and interesting. Consider the possibility that a NASA astronaut, the crème de la crème, suddenly turns into some serious writer like Stefan Zweig (no offense) in such a life and death situation. Doesn’t make sense to me. Nerds don’t usually share their in-depth thoughts on “serious stuff” in log entries, come on.
Actually with some background in science, you should have no problem getting through the math calculations and chemical processes. No far out speculation included. It’s not that “hard” to read once you’ve figured out what the abbreviations (MDV, JPL etc.) basically mean. If you prefer not to let the mechanical or chemical or biological knowledge go over your head, fine, just let them float. After all they are not the whole essence of the novel. Well, two thirds of it.
Just use your imagination, employ your “little grey cells”. And try not to expect too much. Don’t expect something like profundity, something magnificently beautiful which you might find DIRECTLY in other great sci-fis(I can hardly think of one though). It is a tedious nerdy blog as well as an unprecedented survival drama. It could be anything but a purple prose.
By the way, I heard Ridley Scott has directed the movie. Hope he doesn’t make it another Blade Runner....more
Honestly, I don't like how this book is written. Although we can learn it's a sad story from the title, I didn't expect such sorrow that can be sensedHonestly, I don't like how this book is written. Although we can learn it's a sad story from the title, I didn't expect such sorrow that can be sensed from the very beginning of this book. Maybe I shouldn't be so fussy since the author Jeff Hobbs, also Rob’s roommate in Yale, was probably having a grieving process writing this.
You can hardly find flaws of Jeff's detailed record and elaborate narrative. Yet somehow I could feel the deliberation in the sentences so much, that they became less convincing to me. Or am I too unprofessional to be a biography reader? Hard to tell but that's what I felt when reading the conversation between Rob and a naughty boy in his class. Anyways, what really got me in the book was that Rob said he liked real people, which he defined as people who struggled. I think I deeply agree with him.
"You can take the boy out of the hood but you can't take the hood out of the boy."
I didn't write much about Yale and don't plan to. It seems that Yale University was no more than a tag that could prove Rob's flair for academic potential. The school had little positive influence on him, let alone giving a sense of belonging. It didn't even stop Rob dealing drugs after catching him.
Many reviews ascribe Rob's tragedy to his continuing poor decisions, followed by "apparently bad" choices, thus, stupidity. They are right. However, I wouldn't simply put down this book with a conclusive comment like "A brilliant young man without moral compass" or "just another dead drug dealer". That's just too cruel. I'd rather believe it's the conservative traits which are deeply rooted in Rob's personality and the extreme numbness towards life that eventually led to his tragedy. Maybe the numbness is somewhat amassed by the addiction to drugs.
- "Explain to me how this is worth it." - "Let's just not talk about 'worth it.' Okay?"
If there's only one thing that I should learn from Rob, it's "fronting"....more