The Martian by Andy Weir

orange cover with space-suited astronautThe Martian by Andy Weir, (paperback 2011) and now a movie starring Matt Damon. Since I am coming late to this book, you all probably know the whole story behind it, with him writing it on the web and being discovered and input from others on some technical stuff, etc. so it has a fun backstory too.

I really enjoyed it — even though I expected not to because I generally don’t care for the monologue type dramas. This one was relieved, thankfully, by the externals that were brought in. But it still had me wondering why, when it was just the usual series of man gets in bad situation, FORTUNATELY just happens to have two skill sets needed, botany to grow food and engineering to fix things, and so he proceeds to fix the problems. But since according to traditional storytelling, nothing can go completely smoothly, there must be ”
obstacles to overcome to be truly heroic. The protagonists must always be thwarted in some way, though usually not of their own fault. This was fun because the author made the hero make a rookie mistake with the drill. But at the same time, I, who is the most illiterate person I know about tools, knew enough to see that problem ┬ácoming. So it did strike me that that one was a bit contrived, but hey he’s stranded on Mars, I’ll give him a break. But yeah, the author uses the injury as the story point, but it never gets referred to again.

But he just carries on lifting rocks with no apparent impediment of a stab wound; I prefer a little more realism. When a pretty boy gets beat up, he should not magically transform to an unmarked face two hours later, nor should he be able to go on to beat the bad guys up with bare hands over and over without breaking something. But that’s just me.

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