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The Martian by Andy Weir: Like the show I Survived, but in a stranded-on-an-alien-planet way

This book took me wayy longer to read than it took everyone else. 

This is because everyone else's review was "HAHA so funny this book is so great!" and I opened it prepared for uproarious Martian hijinks and read:

In the Hab, I have the oxygenator, a large piece of equipment that breaks apart CO₂ to give the oxygen back. But the space suits have to be portable, so they use a simple chemical absorption process with expendable filters.

Ok, let's be clear about something on this blog as it relates to me and the world: I. Hate. Science. I do not care about chemical processes; I don't want to do experiments unless they involve something fizzing, and even then, I want someone else to do them so I can watch. I didn't take the ACT because it has a science portion and I knew it would pull my score way down. In high school, lab reports were my single most disliked thing. My eyes glaze over, I'm super-bored, it's the worst.

So this book wasn't really written for people like me, and that is fine. Because a lot of people love science! Love love love. But as it stands, these were my comments during it:

In case you were unaware, The Martian is about a guy on a mission to Mars. During a bad storm, he gets blown away, and his fellow crew members think he's dead. So they leave without him. But -- boom! He is in fact alive! A good portion of the book is his journal, but, thank God, that's not the whole book. There are sections about NASA and what they're doing to save him once they realize that oh, hey, looks like our satellites are saying there's someone alive and abandoned on Mars.

This book is basically for really nerdy survivalists. "Could I survive on another planet! How! Please, book, tell me creative solutions for this problem." 

This book is NOT for liberal/fine arts people like myself who are completely resigned to and accepting of the fact that in that situation, we would die immediately.

Every liberal arts major on Mars

Despite the above, I didn't hate the book. It was fine. But like a solid 2.5/5 stars fine, because so very very much of the book is science, and talking about the step by step processes the narrator is taking to survive, and ahhhhhh I don't care. I ended up heavily skimming those sections and that made the book way better. 

Every now and then the author would flirt with some characters speaking to each other, but overall the book's setup seems ideal for a nerdy science writer since he's mainly spending the whole time monologuing and not having to get into the subtleties of human interaction.

So. Read it if you like science and science people. Or, y'know, don't. This book left me with zero strong feelings, which I guess in its own way is kind of damning.


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