Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Martian

Bring him back to Mars.

Science fiction is not on my top-to-buy list. It’s not even on the list. The reality of me picking and reading The Martian is highly unfathomable. But I guess, it’s destiny. Or it could be shit.

Well it’s, definitely, shit. Let me explain myself.

This guy, Mark, is stuck alone on Mars and he’s funny. Since I haven’t heard of any science fiction that was marketed with a character that had a good sense of humour, I bought it. Big mistake.

Given the genre, it would obviously have a gazillion terminology that I could care less of. I just thought that maybe Mark’s sarcasm would save me from my agony. Just maybe. But this had me working on my non-existent mathematical skills.

You were given 20 liters of oxygen without a regulator, but with CO2 consumption available. There is 312 hours of filters left, plus 171 hours of EVA suit with CO2 filters capability. Compute for the hours and sols left to reach destination. (repeat 256x)

And btw, that was based from the book itself. I always feel like I should bring a separate scratch paper to compute my own findings. Didn’t it occurred to him that some people reading might not be an engineer? That they might not care how you got an 20 liter instead of 24? 

Besides the fact that it’s bombarded jargons, it’s in first person. Well most. That means that you have no choice but to listen to him, which works out if you like his character. But I don’t, which makes matter worst.

Yes, I know he’s funny for the first 30 pages, but then it gradually fades. And when he tries to be funny, you just don’t laugh anymore. Because you’re upset. Because you’re reading a 400-page science fiction novel, a genre that you rarely read, that isn’t what you hope for and wastes your time to try to be comical about his situation. But really, there’s nothing funny about a 40 amp-hour Ag-Zn battery with an optimal voltage of 1.5.

Apart from his profession, I actually have no clue of who he really is. It doesn’t go deeper than that. What I got was that Mark Watney is an astronaut engineer botanist. But what I was looking for was that Mark Watney is also a human. Even if he could compute for the x, even if he could make a potato grow out mars, and even if he could make the Pathfinder working since 1997, he’s a human being, and he missed home.

I was looking for emotions, and all I got was the lack of it. The frustration I felt because I can’t fully grasp what he’s missing. To be that determined to go back to earth, would entail that you have a reason/s to go back. And I’ve already finished the book, still I have no clue why he was so eager to go back.

This is exactly why science fiction is not my genre.

I already watched the movie. I liked it better than the book, since it stressed the human side of Mark. But again, still think that it wasn’t enough emphasis. If you’re familiar with 217 Hours, then you would already have an idea of what the movie would look like. It’s basically the same. My sentiments towards both of the movies are the same. Both meh.

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Do I like it: I’ll pass

Recommended to: To people who pick Math as their favorite subject

(Fully Booked, Hardcover, P 799)


Below are information about this book.

Publication: February 11th 2014 by Crown

From Goodreads:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

 

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