If I had to choose another title for this book, I’d suggest “MacGyver on Mars.”
This is the story of a regular guy (as much as a regular guy that an astronaut to Mars can be) who accidentally gets left behind on the red planet and is forced to survive using whatever he’s got. He’s part botanist, part engineer, all MacGyver. He finds a way to create water, warmth, food, energy, mobility, communication and even a reason to continue fighting for life all with options and math that actually worked.
It made my nerdy heart happy.
It’s what I love about MacGyver too. The unflustered ingenuity in the face of disaster. I wish I had more of that. I am a planner and want to know three steps in advance instead of “make do” with what I have available to me. But I’m learning to do both and to be okay with things don’t go according to plan.
Although I’m not an abandoned astronaut stuck on a far away planet, I could relate to the main character, Mark Watney. I have many tasks to do each day like Watney did and although mine don’t involve manufacturing water or trying not to explode my only habitat with compressed hydrogen, mine too can be mundane and repetitive. There are times when I feel alone and isolated. Watney knew this to a far greater extent than I ever will and he was able to pursue a noble goal and laugh at himself doing it. I have to keep a wide perspective on life and know that what I am fighting for. Watney was striving to get home. I am striving to get Home too, I just don’t have to use a jetpack to do it.