How much can you mess with billion-dollar NASA equipment when your live depends on it? The answer is: You have no fucking idea.
"It's just duct tape. Looks like even NASA can't improve duct tape."
You would think the story of an astronaut being alone on Mars, destined to die, would be pretty dramatic. And in a way, it is - "The Martian" has surprisingly many incidents happening and turning points to the story. But it's also funny and very entertaining. Guess you've got to bring a lot humor when you want to survive on Mars all alone and you have to make up everything that could help you with it...
I loved how, while Watney, the main character, did develop some routines to his life, the storytelling never became a routine. There are different views added over time, writing style changes depending on what view the reader is currently looking at, always fitting the characters and situations perfectly. I laughed at Watney's "fuck it" attitude when making another wild plan to get around another difficulty on Mars as well as I almost pissed myself in the dramatic scenes, hoping for the best but fearing the worst.
Additional to the overall great writing style, there is a million nice details in this story. There are connections to real Mars missions. There is plenty of technical explanation and information on Mars. It still makes sense that Watney talks us through it: He's an expert engineer and astronaut and botanist, but he was not supposed to live on Mars, so he has to take on new perspectives as well. Also, there is casual equality of men and women and just as casual a little love. The characters in this book are just real humans. Incredibly skilled and intelligent, but still humans. Even the side characters, and some of them play lovely roles just as casually, do have opinions on stuff and a bit of personal development.
I was not much into space matters before, but I am a little more now. Also, I didn't see the film and I have no idea how they made a film out of this but I definitely recommend this book to everyone who likes space, high-tech stuff or just good characters and great writing.
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