The dust settles after a series of rather unfortunate events, and astronaut Mark Watney finds himself stranded on Mars. Between trying to figure out a way to let his crew know he is alive and actually remaining that way, his days quickly fill with one insane near-death experience after another. Written in mission log-type format, entries range from raw and vulnerable to eager and hopeful superstellar math conversions. It is so, so terribly mathy that I’m totally surprised I enjoyed it so much. There are plenty of moments when he is calculating pressure, velocity, mass, time characteristics of elements, yada yada yada and okay, my brain did kind of turn to a bit of mush. But the story is SO GOOD, it’s well worth hanging on through the moments of arithmetic-on-intergalactic-steroids. One of my personal favorites is when Watney invents his very own unit of measurement (he’s inventing quite a lot of things in The Martian) and called it a Pirate Ninja. That’s my kind of math, man.
The Captain and I agree that audiobook format is your best bet on this one. The actor’s tone, personal brand of sarcasm, and wit matches the author’s so well...it really brings out the humor and other emotions on a much deeper level. Now, we do need you to know that there is quite a bit of language, so as you listen just be sure you start this off with earbuds in.
It’s basically Castaway meets Hatchet. Plus maybe a little dab of The Truman Show.
And up until the very very last word, you’ll find yourself wondering...is Mark Watney going to survive?