The Martian by Andy Weir
Robinson Crusoe meets Apollo 13 in this tale of a smart-ass engineer stranded on the surface of Mars when his mission goes horribly wrong. The near-future novel, written by one of NASA’s own, presents an ultra-plausible fight for survival against astronomical odds. Mark Watney caries this problem-solving love letter to the space program with wit, determination, and MacGyver-esque abilities.
The book’s weakness lies in its greatest strength, a singular focus on survival. But you won’t care. You’ll be too busy trying to save Mark Watney. I listened to The Martian on audiobook. The story, mainly told through mission logs, is perfect for this format.
That said, I loved the book enough to order a paperback.
Ridley Scott will be directing a film version, but you should really give Andy Weir‘s novel a read.
The Martian: Trade Paperback, Audiobook
My review was less enthusiastic, though I think it will make an excellent movie.
See more at http://www.donaldjbingle.com/#!A-Review-of-The-Martian/c1q8z/55196a640cf21e26babe4494 .
[Minor Spoilers: Skip these comments if you haven’t read the book] The laser like focus on survival certainly does crowd out a lot of your cost/benefit questions and secondary characterization. I mentally resisted the initial jump away from Watney because I was so invested in his situation, but I eventually grew to appreciate the additional characters. As a writer, I can’t help but wonder what the book would have looked like if it had stayed on Mars to the end.