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Monday, June 22, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir


By now, The Martian has thousands of reviews from mere bloggers to the "experts." Goodreads alone has twenty thousand, and that is a trivial amount compared to the entire internet.
I  will add my soulful few words, struggling to find a place, in this swirling mass of thoughts and feelings in hopes that it will coalesce effectively with the throng.

Boredom, anxiety, humor and intrigue describe the story of one man isolated on Mars, and how his innovated mind constructs solutions for the pervasive obstacles he encounters. His technical knowledge  makes him one of the smartest humans in our solar system--this advances a few problems in the story line for me. He's just too smart (he can create water) and the detailed work involved has the capability of generating boredom.

Humor permeates throughout  showing a wonderful dry sense of humor that made me laugh out loud often. What a pleasant surprise, as I thought his struggle to survive each day would constitute a story of dire seriousness. Several reviewers have called his humor juvenile, but I don't think they understand that in it's simplicity is it's genius.  I could sympathize with his hardship of watching Dukes of Hazzard and other minimal 70's TV shows. This is all that's available to him, not to mention 70's disco music. How he kept his sanity, let alone his sense of humor, is a mystery.

Anxiety is another aspect of the story transfused constantly with every catastrophe that he overcomes. I knew that he must persevere to the end yet there were moments so intense, that often I put down the book, and had to come back to it at a later time.

Not many people could survive in complete isolation of the only human on a planet--he never gives up and he never surrenders (oh, that's another movie).
When he arrives home, he'll be the most famous man in the past or future history, and I wonder if that would make him isolate himself on a  farm somewhere out in Idaho, or sign up to live forever on Mars out of the limelight. Elvis could handle this type of fan worship, but mere mortals might find it hard to cope with.

I could not afford this book, so I put my name down on the library waiting list on March 31. It was a long interval, but worth the long patience, and now it's time to wait for the movie.