The Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I admit it; I am a bit of a snob sometimes when it comes to reading. While earning my BA in English some 40 years ago, I learned the difference between “Literature” and fiction. My snobbishness means I bypass a lot of “fiction” but apparently at my loss. This book is definitely “fiction” and science fiction (which I especially avoid) at that. But my oldest son knows my tastes in life and recommended this to me; I’m glad he did it.
I can’t tell much of the plot without revealing spoilers. Mark Watney is part of the third manned mission to Mars. A calamity occurs and he is left behind for dead (a very reasonable assumption under the circumstances). But, he’s not dead. He needs to establish contact with earth but the antenna array is destroyed. Even if he can/could be rescued he’ll need to survive for four or more years until the next mission is ready. he’ll need oxygen, food, water, and shelter.
This is a great thrill ride that begs to be made into a movie. I blew through this book in four days; it was hard to put down. I haven’t had a reading thrill like this for months if not years. It tends towards “Perils of Pauline” at times but that is a minor qualm.