This is my review of The Martian by Andy Weir.
Let’s talk about the representation of different professions in pop culture.
Lawyers- Boston Legal, Suits, The Practice
Doctors- House, Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, and those old hospital soaps (one of which had George Clooney)
Psychic detectives (and this isn’t even a profession)- Psych, The Mentalist, Dexter (sort of)
Billionaire industrialists- Batman, Iron Man
Advertising- Mad Men, wasn’t Chandler in F.R.I.E.N.D.S also in advertising?
Chefs- Masterchef, ’nuff said
Engineers- Uh, Dilbert?
We live in an age where astrophysics is a more sexy profession than engineering. Luckily, the huge popularity of The Martian could change that. Not that my engineering degree equipped me to repair NASA-designed high technology equipment on the surface of Mars….
This story is about Mark Watney, astronaut/botanist/mechanical engineer, who is left for dead on Mars by his crew. Turns out he wasn’t dead, and needs to use his wits and engineering superpowers to survive on an inhospitable planet until help arrives.
I’m one of those weirdos who loves sci-fi but not fantasy, and this book is just about perfect. Weir has clearly done his research- the book gives the right level of technical detail without becoming heavy or boring. Mark’s tone is humourous and witty and the plot moves at a consistently quick pace. The only complaint I had was that it reads like a movie plot; not an flowery adjective or wasted word to be found. Could be a plus too, if you like no-nonsense narrative.
This book is a solid 4.5/5. Read it if you’re a fan of the Hitchhiker’s series, or sci-fi/comedy in general.
Live another sol!