The Martian by Andy Weir

Fantastic. It’s Robinson Crusoe in space, executed so well that what should have been boring and cliche is instead full of tension and humor. I sped through this book, consuming the whole thing in two days.

Looking forward to watching the movie. Oddly enough, since I know Matt Damon plays the title role, I heard his voice for all of Mark’s journal entries. Felt like a good fit.

Three things I learned about writing:

  • You can mix regular narrative with journal entries, but it’s best to introduce it gradually, and only once the main storytelling mode has been established.
  • Relative dates will do just fine. Most of the time, they don’t really matter.
  • Humor (in the characters or the narration) makes a bleak or depressing situation much more palatable.

One thought on “The Martian by Andy Weir

  1. I liked it too – I was pleasantly surprised by Andy Weir’s ability to make technospeak completely approachable! Usually when a book goes into long verbal parades of scientific jargon, I tune out, but Weir kept me with him by making the jargon conversational and fun.

    I didn’t find the book very tense, which was my only qualm with it. Because of the journal format, everything he wrote down happened *after* the fact, which meant he was always okay. And he solved all his problems so quickly that I never had to worry for him very long. This was something that the movie accomplished better because we were with him in the present, moment by moment.

    Still an enjoyable book though!

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