The Martian by Andy Weir

Note: I’ve started publishing video reviews on YouTUBE. Check out the review for The Martian.

It’s been a long time since I wrote. I somehow have to kill this habit of irregular and erratic writing. But keeping that aside I am going to write about a book today, which is the most thrilling experience I’ve had since Harry Potter (of course this is my very personal opinion). I even stalled the movie for many days waiting for the book to arrive, and voratiously finished it within 3½ days.

The Martian starts of with a lost of realisations. A astronaut realises that he is nearly dead. Moreover even if he survives, he’ll soon be dead within barely a few days. And the biggest realisation of all is that he is on Mars, 225 million kms away from home.

Space is dangerous. The stranded-on-mars astronaut, Mark Wattney realises that early-on. He is a biologist / mechanical engineer by training and is a careful problem solver (a huge plus). A significant portion of The Martian is basically Wattney’s diary. We see him figure out how to solve a shortage of food, helped along with the serendipitous presence of fresh potatoes and a lack of squeamishness. He survives almost 600 days after everyone including himself thought he was dead.

Even after surviving the first blow, there are a number of times that Wattney declares that he is about to die. But, everytime he finds an efficient plan to survive. He almost blows himself up while making water. He gets kicked halfway into next week by an airlock that has been pushed beyond its design specifications, causing me to wonder exactly how effective an EVA suit’s air supply would be in maintaining enough of the airlock’s pressure to keep him alive in that kind of situation. His two-rover tractor goes sliding down a crater wall with him inside but he doesn’t lose much more than a few solar panels and some time. He could almost rival Bilbo Baggins for luck.

But the best part about Andy Weir’s The Martian is its believability. The Martian seems designed, as if in a science lab with very meticulouly curated details. Andy Weir has time and again admitted to have borrowed heavily from Robert Zubrin’s Mars Direct plan – not that I needed to be told that once I read the descriptions of the MAV. Most of the supplies can be sent ahead of each manned mission to Mars, including a return vehicle that can make its own fuel. If you are ever on Mars and you get left behind by crewmates who think you’re dead along with everything you were going to use for the now-aborted mission, this is what you might do to survive.

Andy Weir’s The Martian has got me interested ing reading Science Fiction again. I think other writers would definately take cue from the beauty with which Weir wrote his novel.

I’m going with four-and-half out of five for Andy Weir’s, The Martian. I am sure it will thrill your mind like never before.

P.S. If you want more of Andy Wier awesomeness, you can give The Egg a read.
P.P.S Watch this documentary outlining the Mars Direct plan.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.