by Erin K. | | 4 Comments | Tags:

Welcome to Week 4 of the Online Book Club discussion of The Martian by Andy Weir.

Did you make it to the end of the book? Were you on the edge of your seat, trying to figure out if Mark would be reunited with his crew or not?

Much of this last section deals with Mark’s journey to meet with the Hermes crew. Could you believe all of the modifications Mark did so he could have a comfortable journey to Schiaparelli. I know that he was highly trained in order to go into space, but I really can’t believe how he was able make so many modifications to NASA equipment without any extra training. I also had a hard time following all of the science involved in Mark’s journey and equipment. Did you all struggle to understand how he was preparing for the journey?

I was so stressed out when I read about the dust storm. I was sure that it was going to completely derail Mark’s journey. Again, Mark was so smart and was able to navigate around the storm. In fact, the descent into the Schiaparelli Basin seemed to be more of a problem. I was glad that he was able to recover from that crash. It’s a good thing that he gave himself extra days for travel, because he wouldn’t have made it without them.

In the last couple of pages, Mark is able to get to the Hermes and is rescued. I had a hard time visualizing his rescue, and I actually found it helpful to watch the last scenes of the movie. Let me know if you watched the end of the movie and if its depiction of Mark’s rescue helped you.

Overall, did you think the movie was realistic? Were you surprised that Mark was able to face every difficulty, almost with ease?

If you’re interested what a real astrophysicist thinks about this movie, check out this clip. In it, Neil DeGrasse Tyson discusses whether or not the science in the movie is realistic.


I hope you enjoyed this book! Next month, we’re reading Inferno, another adventurous story. I hope to hear from you in the comments!


4 Responses to “The Martian: Week 4”

  1. Carrol

    What a great book!, I really cannot believe how much I liked this book.

    I really thought the book was realistic. The details were so specific, so I really could imagine something like this happening.

    I was so nervous that something was going to go wrong with the rescue. Mark was so smart to work things out and figure out every single detail. The scientific information was way over my head, but I really felt that I could follow along well.

    I am imagining the reunion with the crew. They were so close and had so much catching up to do!

    Thanks for the video clip. I really liked the comments from Tyson. It was nice to hear his positive feedback.

    Thanks for the great read and for guiding us through it so well.

    • Erin K.

      Carrol, I am so glad that you really enjoyed the book. It’s fun that you found a book that was different that what you might usually read!

      I totally relate about being nervous about the rescue. I just kept expecting something to go wrong, and I was so afraid that the book was going to end sadly.

      I can’t imagine all that the crew had to talk about once Mark was safe. Do you think they would have had enough to talk about for the two year journey back to Earth?

      Thanks for following along again this month! I’m glad you enjoyed the extra videos!

  2. Jane Engle

    With the perils that faced Mark in order to reunite with his crew, emotional tension was retained throughout the the story. Despite being a bit far-fetched, he, much like the TV character MacGyver, was able to figure out and use whatever was available in order to make the best modifications possible. Tension continued to mount as a possible dust storm encounter and his transportation crash took place. Having overcome those problems, more were awaiting ahead.
    Seeing the movie made me understand why so many people considered it an enjoyable experience . For those of us who have been familiar with the space program from its beginning to others just learning about it, believability is possible. Having worked with computer programmers, scientists, engineers, physicists and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory employees, both the book and movie reminded me of past personal experiences. While I could comprehend Mark’s rescue from the written words, visualizing it as portrayed on film was of greater help.

    Just as the opinion voiced by Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson in the provided clip and his reference to Mark Twain’s quote, the combination of facts and distortions of them are very convincing. Thanks for making us aware of both.

    • Erin K.

      Jane, good connection to MacGyver. Mark was definitely able to change things around and use everything at his disposal. It definitely seemed like he was able to think of a solution right in the nick of time.

      It’s really neat that you have experience working with programmers, physicists, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory employees. I don’t think I have ever met someone who worked at NASA, so I am impressed that you have!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the movie. It is nice to see the written word portrayed sometimes.

      Thanks for following along! I hope to hear from you again next month!

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