The Movie Is Probably Better
I can’t wait to see The Martian starring Matt Damon, because I’m positive it is going to be better than the book of the same name by Andy Weir.
I decided to read Weir’s The Martian (2011) after I saw a friend reading it, and I always like to read book versions before I see movies. And while the book was entertaining, and clearly impressive in terms of Weir’s technical detail and scientific knowledge, it just wasn’t that great.
The story was exciting: astronaut Mark Watney is left behind on Mars because his crew mates think he is dead. He isn’t dead, and when he wakes up, he finds himself alone on an unfriendly planet and must survive as long as he can. It gripped me to read about his struggles with farming, creating water, and fetching communication systems in order to make contact with NASA. I liked the story. And I liked that there were twists and turns to his triumph that left it unclear whether or not Watney will make it home alive.
But the writing was flat. I guess you could say the same about my blog sometimes (who am I to be too critical), but I found it hard to be moved by the prose. This book was utilitarian in terms of the story it presented, and even the topics it covered were instrumental. It had so much science (and swearing) that it was hard to become engrossed in the beauty of the words.
That said, the story was incredibly entertaining. I am looking forward to seeing it dramatized in film. I have a feeling that I will really like it as a movie.
I sometimes sum up my taste in books and movies thus: I like my books serious and literary, and I like my movies romantic, corny, and action-packed.