FLOURISH & BLOTTING

beauty, travel & lifestyle

15 Oct 2015

Sharing My Shelves: The Martian by Andy Weir


Published by Crown Publishing
Rating: 4heartrating/5
I love reading, it is one of my few passions. In my opinion there is nothing better than curling up with a good book and escaping the humdrum of life. Fiction is my favourite, any kind of fiction really. When I lived in London I worked at Foyles as a Children's Book Specialist (Best job for a bookworm like myself!) I predominantly read YA titles and I still do every so often. They hold a very strong place in my heart. I am hoping the Literary Review will become a staple on the blog. If you are interested in what I am reading now or what's on my booklist, add me on Goodreads.

This months book was The Martian by Andy Weir and it is fair to say I loved it. This book was on my reading list long before the release of the film. I always make it my prerogative to read the book first. I hate being disappointed by a film and not even giving a second glance to the literature it was based on.

This book is predominantly written in the first person narrative of Mark Watney, an astronaut on a mission to Mars. At the very beginning of the book, unluckily for Mark, an accident prompts his crew to leave without him. Due to the serious nature of the incident, they presume he is dead, and follow the contingent plan to return to earth. Well, it would have been a very short book if he was dead! Watney actually survives and the rest of the chapters detail his 'Sols' on Mars. Suffice it to say, he fills his time more usefully than I do some days! 

Thankfully the story doesn't just focus on one mans forced foray into 70's television, but jumps around. Some chapters focus on Mission Control and the drama that is unfolding back on earth. Other chapters venture on to the Hermes ship, which contains his remaining crew mates, giving the novel a  sense of completeness with its 360 degree narrative.

The Martian contains some remarkable detail which you would think could only be gleamed from the story being true, but then again what do I know about the success rate of germinating potatoes in a Martian terrain before reading this book? You don't have to be a scientist to read this novel, although it does get pretty dense with the mathematics (Embarrassingly, I tended to skim read these bits!). But this only adds to the admiration you feel towards Watney. If that was me, I probably wouldn't stop crying..and then binge eat the chocolate rations. It's an emotional roller coaster! You want Mark to survive but as the reader, it's seems like a hopeless cause and death, surely, is inevitable. All of this adding to the complete feeling of solitude and dissertation.

**Spoiler Alert**

The book quickly gathers memento when NASA learn of Mark's survival, it is then a race to come up with an idea on how to save him. He is such a loveable and sardonic protagonist, him dying is no longer an option. From harrowingly hairy to hopeful within a matter of pages, this book definitely keeps you guessing. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed at the ending. I'm definitely not a Sadist, and I really did form a bond with the main character, but the rescue was far too smooth. I mean, just two broken ribs!? I guess you could argue he had suffered enough, although it was slightly anticlimactic.

This is not a long read, it is perfect commutable material. You can pick it up easily from where you left off as the 'Chapters' are relatively short.

Happy reading everyone!

Love, Jo.



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