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The Martian by Andy Weir

imagesMark Watney is a funny guy. A funny engineering botanist guy who just happens to work on Mars. Mark works with five other scientists on Mars. When a storm threatens, the team, at risk of being stranded on Mars without a return vehicle, makes the decision to abort the mission. They flee and blast off. And, unfortunately for funny guy Mark Watney, they leave him behind. The Martian by Andy Weir is about Mark Watney as he attempts to survive his ordeal on Mars. Mark’s role on the Mars team was to “fix stuff,” and boy does he get the chance to do a lot of fixing. In full MacGyver mode, he cuts and tapes and seals his way along, adding to his survival time. As he grows potatoes, listens to disco music, and watches old reruns of “Three’s Company,” we realize that the real reason Mark Watney continues to survive is that he is a funny guy: his ability to see the humor in all his various situations is the reason he is able to surmount them. The Martian contains all that is good in a story; we have a stalwart hero in Mark, a worthy villain in the living conditions on Mars, and the support of the cheering masses of the people of Earth. We have science, we have engineering, we have admirable use of duct tape, and we have lots and lots of humor. Mark Watney embodies all that is best in humanity, and in the attempt to save him, the humans of Earth shine as well. A brilliant story, brilliantly told.

Annette G.

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