Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Challenge #10: A New York Times bestseller
Rating: 4 out of 5
Another book it took me forever to get through. I didn't love it as much as I expected to, but I did like it.
I saw the movie first, and frankly, it's a toss-up which I like better. Each has its own strengths.
What I wasn't crazy about in the book was all the technical science stuff...it just isn't my cup of tea. While I appreciate the author's ability to write it, I found it really tedious to read. The only thing that got me through it was Mark's bits of humor. I wish the book had a bit more reflection and personal information about Mark's life instead of quite so much technical description. It was somewhat odd that by the end of the book, I felt I knew Mark's personality very well but very little about his background as a person pre-Mars.
I also thought the book was a little anti-climactic with all the build up about the dust storm being such a major obstacle...and then he just goes around it and hardly loses any time. The rescue mission itself is a little more exciting to read but didn't quite live up to my expectations...or maybe I was just getting sick of the book by then.
What I liked better about the movie was that the super-technical science stuff "moved along" quicker in visual format than having to trudge through reading it. I think Matt Damon was a good choice as Mark Watney; he nailed the sarcastic nerd humor.
What I didn't like about the movie was that it seemed really obvious all the way along that Hermes should rescue Mark; the book didn't annoy me with foreshadowing in that way.
All this being said, I really appreciate the skill it took to create this book, and I don't think I've ever read anything quite like it.