There is a reason that this book was made into a major motion picture starring Matt Damon. It’s a splendid story, believable and very personal. If you liked MacGyver, thought Han Solo was the real hero of Star Wars, and enjoyed the designs of Tim the Toolman Taylor, you’ll be a big fan of Mark Watney.
Apparently, of the six astronauts on his mission, he’s the only one that could have survived alone on Mars. The way he thinks through the issues facing him then goes about implementing his solutions is inspirational. His “down to Earth” practicality should probably be called “down to Mars”, but we’re a couple centuries away from that joining our lexicon.
There’s a lot of luck involved in his rescue, and there’s a considerable amount of political intrigue back on Earth. Except for a couple of crude characters and comments, an f-bomb filled opening and a few extraneous expletives the story is just good clean fun. I found myself looking forward to it and had to give myself time limits to make sure I got to sleep at a reasonable time each night until it the book was over.
Review by Ralph Bender, MBA, CFP®