Mark Watney — the sixth crewman of our third manned mission to Mars — is the first person to be stranded on Mars and presumed dead.  But he’s not. At least not yet. Without a radio — and thus no way to contact Earth — Watney’s situation is… well, he describes his future Wikipedia entry on page 1: “Mark Watney, is the only human being to have died on Mars.”

I can’t wait till I have grandchildren. “When I was younger, I had to walk to the rim of a crater. Uphill! In an EVA suit! On Mars, ya little shit! Ya hear me? Mars!”

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Watney, though is a mechanical engineer, a botanist, and an incredibly funny guy. He also seems to have a way to piece together stuff in order to survive. If you want a comparison, how about something like a geeky Astronaut version of Bear Grylls.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Remember NASA during the Apollo missions. I don’t, I’m too young, but you hear stories. Anyway — it was an age of optimism about the future, about humanity and space and whatnot. But there was also that backdrop of the Cold War.

So imagine a world where NASA and space and humanity and all that, but without a military agenda. It’s the future we all want — and it’s portrayed alongside Mark Watney’s inexorable humor.

The Martian is a feel-great novel for anyone who likes to dream big.

Rating (5 stars)

I want to take this space to apologize to the Barista at my local coffee shop who stood by with my drip coffee in hand as I gushed for about five minutes about this novel which included me reading of several quotes from the first chapter.

I’d also like to apologize to my fellow GeekyLibrary reviewers for taking this book for myself and reading it first. Y’all will get your chance.

Finally, I’d like to apologize to my employer because the Tuesday before last I was essentially hungover from having read this book straight through until some ridiculous hour in the morning.