“After all that work and getting blown up, I’m exhausted.”
When my book club first decided to read The Martian, I have to admit, I was disappointed. I’m not a huge fan of science fiction. Plus, I’d seen the movie preview and it looked very serious and somewhat depressing-two other things I don’t do.
Imagine my surprise when I opened the book at the airport on my way to Virginia and immediately fell in love with it! It’s full of action, and despite my disbelief of anyone that told me so, the book was actually funny. One-liners like the one above, riddle the book. I actually had a hard time reading it in the airport and on the plane because it’s laugh out loud funny. I’m always a little embarrassed to read such books in public because I don’t have a quiet laugh and people start looking at me out of the corner of their eyes and I can see them thinking, “What’s that crazy lady reading???”
The one downside I found was that the book was also quite ‘sciencey’ at times. I know that shouldn’t be a surprise as it’s a book about an astronaut stuck on Mars, but Chemistry isn’t my strong suit, so some of his calculations bored me. I occasionally found myself skimming: science, science, science, a.k.a. blah, blah, blah and then disaster! which is when I actually started reading again.
Despite this one minor complaint, I loved this book, as did the rest of my group (granted we had a couple so-so’s, but no haters.) It’s very rare that were all on the same page. I think one reason I loved the book is because it’s a test of courage, strength and the will to survive. Watney has an adventurous spirit and a great sense of humor.
And that’s exactly why this is a great book to take with you on your travels. As a traveler you often find yourself in situations that are outside your comfort zone. As a solo traveler, you don’t have anyone to depend on but yourself. If you’re lost, don’t speak the language, don’t know what train to take or don’t have a place to stay that night, it’s all on you. You have to be tough and just figure it out. Courage, strength and perseverance are the greatest gifts you can pack.
If you haven’t yet read this bestseller, I highly recommend you bring it along for your next trip, especially if it’s a solo trip. I promise you won’t feel near as isolated or down on your luck, no matter what happens, once you’ve read Watney’s journey.
And brace yourself for the ending. The second to last line is hands down the best line I’ve ever read in a book (and they omit it from the movie.) I won’t copy it here because I don’t want to take away the joy you’ll have if you read it yourself.