Andy Weir may be the modern Jules Verne, going beyond “From the Earth to the Mooon” in his science fiction blockbuster The Martian, self-published in 2011. When the book appeared in pocketbook size, with Matt Damon on the cover, I decided to finally read it. After the first chapter, I almost stopped; the misery of scientific and mathematical speak was painful. The lack of editing had me wishing for a red pencil.
But I turned the page, and the story suddenly was exciting.
Although I knew Mark Watney survived, I did not know how. So many setbacks, so many innovative solutions, rivaling creative problem-solving sets from an Olympics of the Mind competition – how did Andy Weir do it? Despite the geeky forays into computer code and chemical balances, the story has humor and wonderfully cynical asides. Weir, the programmer and space enthusiast, clearly had fun detailing the complicated repairs for each new crisis, but after a while I skipped over them to return to the humanizing and gripping trial of this lone man on a distant planet.
Now I want to see the movie.
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