The Martian by Andy Weir.
One of them books, dear worst-reader. Struck me hard. Kept hearing about it via various podcasts, twit.tv, and most recently a little bird speckled in red that flew by my work-window singing: you’d better get to this now because it’s a wanna-be tech-geeks dream. Of course. I didn’t believe the bird–nor did I mind his laughing at me as he flew away. I was confident. I had put the book on my to-read list a few weeks back. Thought I would get to it most certainly during my upcoming trip. But then something snapped. The last book I read surprised me; it gave me the feeling that I needed something different. Reading something different would allow that book to remain attached to my conscience. Similar text dilutes. And something different did I find. But I was also afeared to start a book that might turn me off and that might put me and my reading plans for my upcoming Atlantic crossing in dire straits. You see the complication (t)here? It’s important to control what goes in the mind. It’s important that the mind gets what it needs. If not, what happens? Bummer, that’s what happens. I have to put thought into a new book order. Well, I went ahead and downloaded this one to my Kindle and thought I’d give it a brief look to make sure that I would read it at all. And bam. It hit me. Andy Weir hit me right across the face. I started it Friday afternoon. I just finished it a few hours ago (Sunday). I experienced three extended reading sessions of three or more hours during the day combined with going to bed with it and losing sleep. Just under four hundred pages–by Saturday morning my Kindle only left my side when fulfilling basic life sustaining and hygienic tasks. It was worth every captivating moment, even the ones where I neglected loved-ones because I couldn’t put the damn thing down.
The only problem this book has is that it’s stuck in a genre. Not unlike this book. The Martian is Science Fiction, I guess–not that I would know–but it’s also so much more. I’m sure readers on this planet will miss out because of misguided categorisation. And. The question isn’t who should read this book. But who shouldn’t. Anyone who loves reading for the sheer pleasure of it, or for the suspense, or maybe for what can be learned from it, this book nails it all. And to think Mr. Weir was rebuked by publishers and to spite them he went ahead and self published. He put it on Amazon for ninety-nine cents. According to the Wiki, it sold over thirty thousand copies which got the attention of “real” publishers who ended up buying the rights for six figures. There’s also a film deal. All worst-writer can say to that is: way to go Andy Weir.
But enough about me.
Here’s a Google-Talk with Andy Weir.