Read a review of the book 'The Martian' to practise and improve your reading skills.
Andy Weir's The Martian is a gripping, realistic tale of survival on an alien planet that's been popular with both adults and teens. Botanist Mark Watney is left for dead on Mars and must devise a way to stay alive until he's rescued.
An astronaut who is left behind tries to survive as a catastrophic dust storm abruptly ends a manned trip to Mars. Weir is a software engineer who has written one novel thus far.
Astronaut Mark Watney and his team were battling to escape a deadly Martian dust storm and return to the craft, which was at the time orbiting Mars. He vanished within the following minute, having been blown away, with an antenna protruding from his side. His biosigns had gone flat, and the crew had noticed that he had lost pressure in his suit. They were in great danger, so they made a painful but reasonable choice: believing Mark was dead, they lifted off and returned to Earth. But as it happens, Mark is still very much alive thanks to an odd series of circumstances.
He finds himself stuck on Mars with little food and no way to contact Earth or his fellow astronauts when he finally awakens some time later. Fortunately, Mark is both an astronaut and a botanist. So, armed with a few potatoes, he establishes farming as a profession on Mars. From there, Mark faces a series of increasingly difficult technical, physical, and mental obstacles just to survive. Eventually, he learns there is a slim chance he might truly be saved. Weir demonstrates a virtuoso ability to write about extremely technical topics without far behinding readers. The end effect is a narrative that is both engaging and believable.
Some readers may find themselves chuckling when they should be on the edge of their seats because the author gives Mark a razor-sharp sense of humour that occasionally lessens the tension a bit too much. Regarding Mark's speech patterns, the contemporary conversation occasionally undercuts the futuristic environment. In fact, the characters in the book appear to use the same technology and speak in a similar manner to how we do today (cellphones, computers with keyboards). The sole difference between this parallel present and the one in which the narrative is set is that humanity are currently sending manned missions to Mars. However, the author's creativity in coming up with fresh messes for Mark to get into is astounding, as well as her creativity in working out how to get out of those messes.
Lastly, However, there is a problem when Weir tries to strike a balance between exploring a subject in depth and letting it go. Characterization is one such instance; at its best, it is shallow and at its worst, it is clichéd. There are other characters in The Martian besides Watney. The other astronauts from Ares 3 and some members of NASA make up the supporting cast, and Weir can't help but pay each of them a bit too much attention.