The Martian – a Novel
Reviewed By: Elan Azrieli
Elan Azrieli reviews books and films for The Columbia Review.
“The Martian” – a novel by Andy Weir on transports the reader to the dilapidated and deserted planet of Mars, where the only other inhabitant to be found is Mark Watney.
Mark (astronaut, botanist, and electrical engineer), was left behind after his crewmates believed him to be dead. By a lucky shot, he managed to survive, but in his position, is being alive any better? Cheered on by every man, woman, and child in the entire United States, he puts his brain to work and is ready to challenge Mars to everything it can throw at him.
Unlike most ‘lone survivor” novels, “The Martian” is written in the first person as a journal Mark writes for whomever discovers his deceased body in the future; rather than narrated in the third person. This is undoubtedly what gives “The Martian” the ability to reach into the reader’s mind and pull us directly into the story. Thus, the reader experiences the blunt, yet hilarious personality of Mark Watney:
“I don’t want to come off as arrogant here, but I’m the greatest botanist on this planet.”
Mark finds irony in his bleak situation. His outlook is what keeps the reader spirited as well as interested to see what trick he pulls next. Instead of getting the reader depressed about this nearly morbid situation, Author Andy Weir, through Mark, marvelously entertains the reader with his incredible resourcefulness. Keeping his word of “sciencing the shit out of” his situation, Mark Watney gives himself a bare possibility of survival, but is it enough to get himself off Mars?
In summary, “The Martian” delivers an exciting as well as funny account of a man isolated alone on mars with no one to help him. By taking every advantage he has and combining it with his razor-sharp wit, Mark gives the reader a thought provoking story that will be sure to keep you turning pages. If you are one for a comedic excursion to the unknown, then “The Martian” is a must read!