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Thrilling and scientifically engaging - Mars in all it’s beauty
Eine Kundin/ein Kunde aus Göttingen am 10.04.2020
Bewertet: Buch (gebundene Ausgabe)
The science-fiction novel „The Martian“ by Andy Weir is about astronaut Mark Watney, who was abandoned by his crew on Mars. All by himself and without any communication with earth, he has to figure out how to survive. In order to succeed, he needs to be creative and confident in his own academic judgement. While describing all of these considerations, decisions, struggles and successes author Andy Weir finds the right balance in explaining the scientific background to the reader and not boring him.
Main character Mark Watney is the botanist and engineer of the crew of the fourth manned Mars mission. During an unexpected earlier take-off back to earth due to a storm, Watney gets blown away and seriously injured. Unlike the crew assumes, they are not leaving his dead body behind, but an unconscious crew mate. From that moment, Watney is the only man on planet Mars, only left with two rovers, their main expedition tent, life support systems, limited food supplies, computers and tools. Watney’s log entries are the main part of the novel and allow inspections of Watney’s thoughts. As a result the reader identifies oneself with him immediately. He is a very intelligent, inventive and charismatic person, with an scientific working method. His writing style is easy to read and colloquial, so all in all really realistic. Even though he is in a life-threatening situation, he tries to think positive and even is humorous most of the time. As he is an astronaut himself, he uses many technical terms and abbreviations. It took me a time to get to know all of them, but in the end, you don’t even notice them anymore. At the same time, Watney believes some of them are unnecessarily complex, so he makes fun of them (for example medium flexible sample container instead of ziploc bags). Besides these log entries, the reader witnesses some situations from the NASA-centre on earth and the homecoming crew. Through them the author creates suspense, allows one to look at the rescue from a different point of view and as a result reveals the whole drama of the affair.
The story itself is well thought through and all the difficulties Watney has to face are, as far as I can tell, plausible. Especially from a scientific perspective the novel is really interesting, but also in terms of entertainment, it is really thrilling and you learn a lot about Mars. Through Watney Andy Weir includes lots of different topics concerning mars: science, of course, in all kind of ways (atmosphere, life support, gravity, geology,...), but also international law, history, botany, astronomy, climatology or the rivalry between different nations concerning space travel. These reveal lots of uncertainties and problems concerning the space and space travel. Also, it illustrates how many problems humans are facing as soon as they’re not on earth; So much to think about and to consider, and if there’s something unconsidered or poorly planned, you can easily have life-threatening problems. This points out how well adapted we are to earth. To put it in a nutshell the novel is thematically very diverse, and most topics are touched lightly.
To conclude, this novel is really thrilling for everybody, who likes suspense, science-fiction and scientific observations. Mark Watney is a really charismatic and clever main character, who wins every reader’s heart.
Eine Kundin/ein Kunde aus Stolk am 09.06.2017
Bewertet: Buch (Taschenbuch)
Best novel I've ever read, hands down. Andy Weir clearly put alot of thought and research into this book, resulting even in the sciency parts being very believable.
With me coming from an mechanical engineering background, stuff like that is a welcome change to the typical inaccuracies found in fictional literature and movies.