THE MARTIAN | ANDY WEIR | BOOK REVIEW

I would like to welcome you to a new section of Salty Popcorn, because I never have anything to do and the site just manages itself and apparently self funds itself I decided we would add book reviews. Our ten Salty Kernel movie critics are about to be joined with another six kernels, our, or your, book critics. Books are my third passion after film and food. They are part of the reason movies get made, the beginning of a journey in a person’s mind, that becomes an obsession that needs to flow onto paper (or more laptop these days). These form into universes from a mind to a mind and allow us to journey into places only limited by the human imagination. I have always loved books, anything that involves escapism and I am usually in 🙂

 

THE MARTIAN BOOK COVER IMAGE
THE MARTIAN | ANDY WEIR | SALTY POPCORN BOOK REVIEW | BOOK COVER

 

REVIEW BY JASON KING

I wanted a good book to start with and the book I have chose is THE MARTIAN, why? Well a few reasons. Firstly I have not read a book in close on a year, the stress of moving six months ago, work stress, life stress, running this very website stress, and generally travelling three hours plus every day robbed me of the time to actually enjoy the time I wanted in bed prior to sleeping to spend time entering another universe. That and I had not found any books to grab me and seduce me into their prose. But one day while doing my daily commute I was listening to 702ABC radio and they had a book section and were discussing this self published novel by Andy Weir titled THE MARTIAN, the guy said he could not put it down at the moment and it was superb reality science fiction. I was sold, went home and bought it online.

I started this book and could not stop – finished in two days and I was awakened again to the love I have for the page, I do not do e-book readers – can’t get into them and prefer the tactile connection made with paper, the smell of a book and the actual physical ownership of something great to keep in my bookshelf, to loan out to my friends and family.

 

PLANET MARS IMAGE
THE MARTIAN | ANDY WEIR | SALTY POPCORN BOOK REVIEW | MARS

 

Andy Weir is a techno geek, a lover of science fiction, and a game designer – he actually was one of the designers for Warcraft 2 and has a field in computer science. Writing has always been his hobby and he started a website and published short stories on it. When he published a short story titled “THE EGG” his readership went nuts. He commenced writing THE MARTIAN in 2009 and based it on everything real, it is inline with Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. The film incorporates all real science – everything is genuinely believable, we have the science in the book but it some of it is not yet at the level required, hence why slightly into the future.

The book is about one man, Mark Watney, an engineer, one of the first men on Mars, and is based at Ares 3 base station. He is an engineer and botanist and these are his specialties on the mission. The mission is cut short and his entire team must evacuate the planet during a storm too severe to sustain the astronaut’s lives. During the evac Mark is taken out by a projectile, a piece of communications equipment. It tears his suit and all his team sees is his life signs flatline. They have no time to recover the body, recover it and they could all peril, so they leave…….and hours later……..Mark wakes up.

 

THE MARTIAN MARS MAP IMAGE
THE MARTIAN | ANDY WEIR | SALTY POPCORN BOOK REVIEW | MARS MAP

 

Mark must now survive 1,412 days till the next Mars expedition gets there, relying only on what’s left behind. He has a habitat, an all-terrain vehicle, access to extra spacesuits, tools, some water, and food for the entire crew of six designed to last 50 days, or 300 days for this lone diner. But since the next Ares mission won’t arrive for four years, he would starve long before that; he figures human error could likely do him in first. But Mark has one thing that most of us would not have, incredible intelligence, humour and undeterred determination to win. The best way to describe this film is to imagine ALL IS LOST crossed with GRAVITY and set on Mars. It is a modern day scientific Robinson Crusoe on Mars. It has limited dialogue but it is filled with journal entries filled with humour and is riddled with action on top of action as anything and everything that can go wrong does.

The book has a mass universal appeal, it will appeal to science fiction lovers, it will appeal to scientists, it is filled with maths but maths that is so logic and easy to follow and the best way to explain to kids why maths is necessary and then it will appeal to males, females, young and old. It is human survival, it is a planet coming together and it is about the importance and struggle of one man. You will seriously battle to put the book down and will find excuse after excuse as to why you can read “just ten more pages.”

 

THE MARTIAN MOVIE IMAGE
THE MARTIAN | ANDY WEIR | SALTY POPCORN BOOK REVIEW | RIDLEY SCOTT AND MATT DAMON MAKING THE MOVIE

 

Now doing research for this article I happened onto something great. Firstly Andy Weir self published THE MARTIAN, then Amazon picked it up for Kindle sales and it roared into their top 200 books of all time and then RANDOM HOUSE bought it and have mass released it. When reading it I kept thinking how sensational this book would be as a movie and then BAM – confirmed that 20TH CENTURY FOX is making it, Ridley Scott is directing (even putting Prometheus 2 on hold to make this first) and Matt Damon is starring. I never pictured it as Damon and thought Mark looked more like Eric Bana but I do think Damon will do it justice. I also think if the film is made well it will poop Oscars.

You can buy the book in all formats HERE and the book has a great website HERE. I have published RANDOM HOUSE’S trailer for the book below but please do not judge the book based on this low budget trailer, the book is epic in every way – get reading!!!

 

5 Pops