My rating 4/5
An astronaut is accidentally stranded upon Mars by his ship mates. His mission is to stay alive long enough on the barren planet until a rescue mission can save him. The book tells of his escapades as the first Martian – the first human being surviving upon the hostile environment of Mars.
Someone recommended this book to me as I do not read much science fiction. I had just finished watching the UK TV episode Mars (French subtitles helped with my French) and I was fascinated by Mars, so thought I would give it a try. It stayed on the ‘to read’ list for a good few months whilst I was finishing my work, then a few days ago I picked it up, brushed it off and had a look……..
Firstly, I started reading this alongside the non-fiction book Cosmos
It was not deliberate but just happened to be a happy coincidence. The two played off each other very well. Considering Sagan in his book Cosmos was looking at the real prospects of life on the planet Mars and was descriptive about what we know (or rather knew in 1980) about Mars.
This book gets better as it goes on……initially I thought it poorly written, an astronaut would not talk like that! Yet it just seemed to fit as the book went on and we realize we are dealing with an incredibly intelligent and resourceful man who has a great sense of self preservation and humour. Even NASA, employing some of the cleverest people top of their field, the characters show eccentricity which is a lovely breath of fresh air. Nothing phases them, they handle the situation at hand…..they know humour is part of this. They are thinkers of a different level indeed. Except for the media woman I really like all the characters so far….each has their charms.
What could go wrong with a mission for one man to keep himself alive on Mars, and a ground crew, and shuttle in space also trying to keep him alive? Well this story does not take the easy way out (where everything just miraculously happens to go smoothly). No the book is brave and ventures constantly into the world of chaos! Wonderful story about human resilience. Well researched in the technical part (I think). Quite uplifting in emphasizing the human spirit and just what it takes to be and think like an astronaut.
How did I come to this book?