M is for Mark Watney

Hello, and welcome to Blogging A to Z 2017! Thanks for stopping by. Fellow A to Z-ers, please make sure to leave a link to your blog in the comments.

My theme this month is 26 of the Best Characters in Fiction.

IMG_8378.JPGMark Watney is the main character of The Martian, by Andy Weir. It’s technically a science fiction book, and people who know science fiction said that the science is mostly realistic. Even though natural sciences aren’t my thing, I do think it’s important for the science to be accurate. If I can spot the science problems, it takes me right out of the story.

Even though this is science fiction, for me it was much more about the psychological struggle of a man deserted on a planet where he knows he will probably die.

Mark is part of a team of astronauts who landed on Mars. When an unexpected storm happens, Mark is blown away from the rest of the team and presumed dead. When he wakes, and realizes what happened, he goes through the predictable stages, even contemplating suicide at one point.

But, of course, he doesn’t give up. He’s the botanist and the engineer, but he was also chosen for the mission because of his optimistic nature and his sense of humor. Those features really shine through throughout the book.

It could have been just a book about a guy surviving. But instead, Mark is a guy who’s doing his best to live. He complains about being stuck with only disco music (his commander’s personal items were left behind), and laughs at himself when he screws up.

There’s a reason why solitary confinement is considered the worst of the worst punishments for human beings. Being alone does wear on Mark, but his sense of humor is a constant. Even though he expects to die, he never gives up home.

I’m sure some people loved this book for the marooned on Mars aspect of it, and yeah, that was great. But I loved the human aspect of it. It’s not touchy-feely, hitting the reader over the head with what a great guy Mark is or showing him lamenting all the things he left behind (as I think some authors would have been tempted to do). Instead, Mark leaps off the page with every problem he solves and the way he interacts with others.

Oh, and the movie was good too.

Did you read the book or see the movie? What did you think?

16 comments on “M is for Mark Watney

  1. scr4pl80 says:

    Saw the movie. It was great!

  2. clicksclan says:

    I’ve not read this but I’ve got a funny feeling my Mum saw the film and said it was good. I’ll like to read the book before I see the movie. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cait @ Click’s Clan

    • doreeweller says:

      Definitely read the book first. Though I liked the movie, they didn’t explain things as well as the book did, and I would have been confused if I hadn’t read it first.

  3. I saw the movie a few months ago and really loved it. My son and I had a movie night and watched it on Amazon…love spending quality time with my kiddos ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for visiting my blog today!

  4. messymimi says:

    Some people aren’t just survivors, they thrive. Those are the people i like to read about.

  5. Djinnia says:

    Love the movie! Haven’t read the book yet, but it’s on my list. I thought Matt Damon did an amazing job.

    Btw, Parasyte is amazing, but it’s gory. Just FYI. Thanks for stopping by today.

  6. blikachuka says:

    I haven’t read it. It sounded like a bit of a depressing premise- but you make it sound like it isn’t depressing to read?

  7. The book is one of my favourites of all time – the voice of Mark Watney is so refreshing and the humour really works despite his dire situation.

    The movie was pretty good as well.

  8. Seeing the movie, which I loved, made me want to read the book. I just need more hours in the day. LOL!

    DB McNicol | Oh, the places we will go! | Quartzsite & ???

  9. Pikakshi says:

    Yep, read the book, saw the movie and loved them both. Mark, his struggle, the God aweful disco music, his sense of humor, his mistakes, his journey — Mark was amazing throughout. And you are right, flawed science can be off putting, but Andy got it bang on. Loved your review. Do check out what I have to say about it here: Movie Adaptations

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