Kerry Nietz's Reviews > The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir
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Sep 27, 2015

it was amazing

I love survival stories. I also love science fiction stories that are infused with science. So, clearly “The Martian” is a book that seems tailor-made for my enjoyment. I appreciate the author’s effort in making this story seem plausible. His attention to detail really shows in the final work.

The author’s background is apparent in the story too, as the plot is essentially a series of seemingly-insurmountable problems and an engineer’s efforts to overcome them. That’s a computer programmer’s life in a nutshell. Been there, lived that. (Thought thankfully, never with my oxygen leaking out, or my food supply dwindling.)

I found myself wondering about a few things, though. I was surprised in subplot where Watney was growing food on Mars that there wasn’t any mention of the toxicity of the Martian soil. (i.e. perchlorates) That discovery has been around for only a couple years now, but it may still be after this book was originally written. Still, would be an interesting dilemma to solve.

I also wondered about the character of Watney. Though it is plausible that someone could be stranded on a planet for years and be so focused on surviving that he thinks of little else, it seems a little surprising to me that that is the case. All that time and no desperation, or thoughts about giving up? Or on the flip side—no search for higher meaning or purpose? No thoughts about God or the afterlife?

Again, I’ve been in the technical field and worked under some hard conditions...there are times it is difficult NOT to start praying.  So it is a little surprising that the subject barely even came up. Especially with death omnipresent like it would be on Mars. More time was spent critiquing the 70s. (I enjoyed those portions too, though.)

That said, I enjoyed “The Martian.” It deserves all the success it has had.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 26, 2015 – Finished Reading
September 27, 2015 – Shelved

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