Another book club choice. I wasn’t over-enthusiastic about reading it as I’m not crazy about sci-fi but it was sold to me as a futuristic Robinson Crusoe, so I thought it could be interesting.
Botanist and engineer Mark Watney has been left for dead by his crew following an emergency on the surface of Mars, trouble is that he is actually alive. At first, everyone thinks he is dead but as there will be another mission arriving in a few years, he has to work out a way to survive. Using all his training, life skills and equipment left with him he, just about- barring several disasters, manages to get along on his own until back on Earth they think they have come up with a rescue plan.
For me, this book is good and bad in equal measure. I liked Watney’s dry sense of humour as he logs his progress, I found (most) of his survival tactics ingenious and I was kept reasonably excited by the prospect of his success/ failure. On the other hand, I found the plot overly repetitive. Something goes wrong, he explains a complicated plan to solve it, involving intricate chemistry or physics, he thinks it has worked, then it doesn’t, there is a technical explanation of why, followed by another intricate plan and so on, and so on.
It has Hollywood movie written all over it, it’s not exactly my cup of tea but was quite entertaining. The sun is shining, I’m in a good mood so I’ll give it 3 stars.