Wednesday, November 4, 2015
"The Martian" by Andy Weir
The Martian is one of those survival tales like “Hatchet” or classics like “The Voyage of the Beagle” by Darwin or “The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons” by John Wesley Powell. The plot is so simple as to be almost non-existent. The character survives or doesn’t. They learn along the way. We live vicariously through their account of adventures we can never experience for ourselves.
This is one of those stories largely depending on journal entries, though not entirely. The problem with those accounts is that they difuse a lot of the tension. One knows not to worry about a character when said character is recounting something already in the past. But the whole narrative is not told this way, and the author does a lot to really hype up the tension.
It is also what some have called “hard scifi.” I don’t know about that, but there are lengthy portions totally reliant on math or chemistry, so it is a bit of a defense of god education!
In the end it is an engaging read. Actually, it is very inspiring. To be honest, I am intrigued to see just how much things change for the cinematic adaptation. I can’t imagine it being a direct translation. Then again, I hated “The Castaway.”