Ratty (blinger) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 9 - 2016

Book 9: The Martian by Andy Weir – 369 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
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 while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

On New Years’ Day 2016, I flew from New York to San Francisco for the last leg of my most recent trip to the US (less than a 100 days to the next one). On the inflight entertainment was a movie I had wanted to see at the cinemas but had never got to – ‘The Martian’. I was travelling with my Mum, Dad and sister and we all got off the plane and went ‘Oh my God, how good was that movie?’. So needless to say, I went home and immediately ordered the book. I find film adaptations are either nowhere near as good as the book, or great but not necessarily true to the book. This book managed to be the rare combination of both a great film and try to the book. The film follows the story quite closely except for where it would have unnecessarily extended the film. Both versions capture the really beautiful humanity of the story – the idea that, if necessary, humanity, all of humanity irrespective of nationality etc, would work together to save one man because it was the right thing to do. Weir keeps the science mostly understandable, and he never makes Watney’s sarcasm and almost infallible optimism feel fake or forced. The story is an intriguing one, and the supporting cast are very real, their dialogue, interactions and personalities. Weir is one of the few writers who in reading I could hear similarities to my own style and I think that endeared me to the story even more. Overall, a great read, a great story, and I look forward to Weir’s future material.

9 / 50 books. 18% done!

2123 / 15000 pages. 14% done!

Currently reading:
-        Wrath of Aphrodite by Bess T. Chappas – 207 pages
-        My Life by Bill Clinton – 957 pages
-        Reengineering the University: How to be Mission Centered, Market Smart, and Margin Conscious by William F. Massy – 280 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        Griffith Review 51: Fixing the System edited by Julianne Schultz and Anne Tiernan – 326 pages
Tags: comedy, movie-book, sci-fi, science

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