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The Martian

The Martian - Andy Weir I enjoyed this, but based on all the raving I'd heard, I expected to love it. It was a quick, fun read and a good book to shake off my holiday hangover with. I was a little worried because Mark Watney's log entries were kind of grating at first (you're a quirky botanist, we get it) but once other perspectives were introduced they balanced it out and I warmed to Mark. I did like the humor, but often it was a little much. It was like that one uncle who nudges you with his elbow and wiggles his eyebrows every time he makes a joke.

It's also a bit repetitive (plan, disaster, ingenious and dangerous solution, but will it work?), but by the end I was invested enough in his struggle that I tore through it all the same. Or maybe I was just interested to see whether or not Weir would be ballsy enough to kill off his protagonist - a poetic death of some sort, mind you, but a death nonetheless. Weir was also pretty heavy handed towards the end with his big picture takeaways. The sudden and dramatic analysis of human nature seemed really out of place, if only because its tone was so different from the rest of the book.

I'll be pretty amazed if this isn't made into a movie soon, especially on the tails of Gravity and Interstellar. All in all, I'd recommend it to someone who wants a quick, entertaining read. But if you're looking for something more thought provoking, keep movin. (Bonus points for the author bio on the dust jacket. Anyone who lists relativistic physics and orbital mechanics as hobbies is operating on a whole different level.)