The Martian; Andy Weir
Brillance Audio and Random House
When readers started raving about The Martian, my immediate reaction was "no way this one could be for me, I NEVER read science fiction" I gave in though when the library audiobook became available, and boy was that a good decision. This is not a book about aliens or anything like I imagined SF to be,
The main character is Mark Watney, a mechanical engineer and now astronaut who was one of first men to walk on Mars. However, something goes horribly wrong on this last mission. When a dust storm hits and something punctures his spacesuit, he finds himself left alone on Mars. His crew members assume he is dead, and they decide to abort their mission return to Earth on their mother ship, Hermes.
The rest of the story focuses on Mark's quest to stay alive until the next Ares mission returns. He calculates the shelter, water and food situation and figures that he has 400 days of food if he starts rationing. He needs to work on a way to establish communication with NASA and let him know that he is still alive. Fortunately, he has a few tools and devices left behind like a generator, oxygenator and water reclaimer that helps him keep a positive outlook and his of humor as well. He even decides to grow potatoes since they'll be fast to produce and, will provide plenty of need calories as well. If he gets bored he has that covered as well, for entertainment he has a few mystery novels, old disco music and TV shows from years gone by.
Told generally in the first person and through a series of log entries, The Martian, is an entertaining read. It would be difficult not to root for such a smart, determined, resourceful and witty individual like Mark, who keeps his spirits high despite his dire circumstances. There is a lot of technical jargon in this book that could have gotten boring, but it never did. The story is very engaging, and the audiobook reader, R.C. Bray was the best of the best for this particular story. I highly recommend this book (especially the audio) for all those readers who've said, "SF is not for me." Read it, you'll be glad you did; creative and entertaining, and you'll be even able to see this story on the big screen in the near future.