Hello, people! Long time no see (my fault, I know). I had something really important to say so I started writing straightaway.
Have I ever mentioned before that Mark Watney is Supermegafoxyawesomehot? Well, he is.
I don’t know how many of you know him but he’s the guy who was stranded on Mars for a year and a half and made it back alive. And now you know that he’s fictional (arent’t all the best guys?) because no one’s actually been stranded on Mars like that. Anyway, I’m rambling. Let’s get to the point.
When The Martian came out as a movie I was really excited to see it because it had such a great story ( plus Matt Damon). I loved the movie; so when I found out that it was based on a book, I obviously wanted to read the book too. Well, I did. Just finished it, infact, and started writing this post immediately.
Have you watched the movie or read the book? If not, please do both immediately. Especially the book. It’s one of those books that I’m glad I bought because now I can go back to it anytime I want. I don’t say this about a lot of books, so this is major for me.
The best thing about the book is Mark Watney. He is one of my favourite protagonists now. He is witty, brave, optimistic and really really smart, brilliant actually.
I think I liked the book so much because of the way its been written and Mark’s perspective on life. He just doesn’t give up! He screams and curses when something goes wrong ( and a LOT of things do), but then he calms down and THINKS and finds a solution. Watney can teach us so much.
One of his important nuggets of wisdom is this-
The book is about him being stranded on Mars and struggling to survive. But that’s not what you think about when you’re reading it. You’re thinking about what Watney will do next; after the first few pages you are absolutely convinced that if anyone can survive on Mars its Mark Watney. You’re rooting for him the whole way. He’s like a superhero, he can do anything. But, at the same time, he’s completely human. His instinct for survival is very strong, but he doesn’t lose himself in the ordeal. He is such a great character.
Andy Weir (the author) has also written great supporting characters: the people at NASA, Watney’s crew on Ares 3. Although its only Watney in the beginning, once he establishes contact with Earth the entire planet’s rooting for him. He gets a lot of help from the people at NASA and his crewmates actually agree to spend an extra year in space so they can come back and get him.
There is a paragraph at the very end which I absolutely loved:
The cost for my survival must have been hundreds of millions of dollars. All to save one dorky botanist. Why bother?
Well, okay. I know the answer to that. Part of it might be what I represent: progress, science, and the interplanetary future we’ve dreamed of for centuries. But really, they did it because every human being has a basic instinct to help each other. It might not seem that way sometimes, but it’s true.
If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception.
That’s the gist of it. We as individuals have an instinct for survival, which can inspire us to fight against all odds; we also have an “instinct to help each other,” which is at the core of our humanity.
Really, do read the book. It’s brilliant!
P.S. The title is a name that Watney thinks would be an “awesome name for a James Bond movie.”