366 Pages to Mars… and Hopefully Back


Three men made this book. Andy Weir, Mark Watney and Matt Damon. The Martian is, no joke, the best science fiction I have ever read (to be fair, Sci-Fi isn’t really my thing), and I thank Weir for his brilliance in Mathematics and Physics and Chemistry and Astronomy and Botany and all that uninteresting matters, Watney for the inappropriate laughs, and Damon for… being Damon.

To be completely honest, I read this book just for Matt Damon. I’m not lying when I say he’s my favorite actor and Good Will Hunting is my No.1 holy grail film. Going off track here, but #MATTDAMONISLIFE. #NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK.

Anyway, my point is, after the first sentence, this book became so much more. The book starts with Mark Watney’s entry on Sol.6 (1 Sol. = 1 sunrise and 1 sunset on Mars). Precisely, it starts with “I’m fucked”. Something amusingly ironic about swear words used in actually serious situations. I already knew that this book would be a pleasant ride with this dude by my side. To put it in Tom Hanks context, Watney had me at “fucked.”

Once the joke started, there was no way to control it. The wit and humor in Watney’s character simply cannot stay inside his EVA suit, and had to flood all over the pages. His jokes and mesmerizing charisma drawn me in, and I physically couldn’t put the book down. I traveled from 0 to page 366 real fast (mind you, I’m a s-l-o-w reader), just to get a little more taste of Mark’s hypnotizing personality. Honest to God, there were nights when I turned the light back on 2 minutes after I go to sleep, because I “already miss Mark Watney”.

Some critics do call The Martian a “collaborated masterpiece”, as all other characters in the book are equally charming and likable. But for me, just Mark Watney solo will do. Just Mark Watney is more than enough. Why am I so in love with a fictional character? Well, Watney does 10 things right.

  1. looking like Matt Damon
  2. ranting about disco
  3. UChicago represent!!!
  4. CREATING water out of the oxygenator and hydrogen molecules
  5. being the best botanist on Mars
  6. having the idea of an “Iron Man” spacesuit
  7. teaching himself Morse code on another planet
  8. “Science the shit outta this.”
  9. encouraging Beck to pursue Johanssen #OTP
  10. the never lacking of positive attitude and self-mockery.

Ohh, and a little bonus for not having wife and children.

Sure, Weir, being the dorky scientist he is, doesn’t have the best writing. There were definitely signs in the book of him trying too hard, or simply, trying. The on-earth storyline is fragmented, some conversations were evidences of high-school self-scripted drama and some characters were stereotypical. But God praise him alone, for creating Mark Watney. I watched a press conference of the movie, and Weir seemed like such a jolly person. He was smiling so big just because he got a question. (Yes I am so desperate for the movie to come out in China that I watched an amateur-filmed press conference).

The science. Oh man, the science. It blows my mind how much I don’t know about the world that physically exists, and spending too much time on the world that doesn’t exist. Drop the temperature of the Hab down to 0 degree celsius (and yes, I am very happy the book is written in celsius and kilometers) and manage to keep the planets alive?! WTF? Despite being accurate (assumed-accurate) and very advanced, the science still manages to stay entertaining and easy to read.

Okay. I know this isn’t really relevant to the book but, can we talk about Matt Damon? 😍 I, out of boredom, watched Good Will Hunting again last week (because it’s always a good idea), and I am again all head over heels. I have been going through the phase of searching everything about him on the internet, watching every video on YouTube (Thank you Jimmy Kimmel) and to the extend of taking “How Well Do You Know Matt Damon” tests online. I mean, how could I not? Sexiest man alive with those blue eyes and those nice-guy smirks. A genius janitor at MIT dating a Harvard girl and bought a zoo to celebrate his past wife and find his way outta Mars? Okay I’m having way too much fun. I’ll just say two things:

#1                                                                                                        #2.


xx L.


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