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I first "read" the story via the excellent unabridged audio version narrated by R. C. Bray. And I enjoyed reading it just as much in the text version, with the bonus of having the book's maps of Mars to help me see just how far our stranded hero had to travel.
This is a fast-moving, emotional, funny, harrowing tale about stranded Mars astronaut Watney, who has to face the immense odds against his chances of surviving until the next planned Mars landing. And then there are the stunned folk at NASA who, when they finally realize Watney's alive, have to go into overdrive themselves to try and find some way of (a) communicating with him and (b) improving the odds of a rescue. There are laugh-out-loud moments and OMG moments, and I found the book truly delightful, all in all a great read. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I have trouble writing it up - there are too many bits I want to quote, from the first line ("I'm pretty much fucked.") to Mark's elation at the success of one of his early-stage plans ("Fear my botany powers!") to his pithy remark on a failure ("Everything went great right up to the explosion.") to one of the most happy-tears moments in the story [hidden behind spoiler-whiteout, as it's even better when you don't know it's coming: "Something's coming in... yes... yes! It's Pathfinder! ].
There are running jokes about the taste of his former crewmates, as he has to rely on their music and video choices in his down-time - one of them was fond of '70s TV shows, so in the middle of survival-trauma he gets to muse on the switching of key characters in Three's Company. And there are perils too numerous to mention, most of them centering around his many - and increasingly-extreme - hacks meant to extend his survival-time as long as possible, at the risk of ending it very, very suddenly. But his attitude is generally so upbeat and can-do that we're with him all the way, and even the darkest times are rather fun to read about - he retains his snarkiness under all but the most grim circumstances.
Really fine book!
[There's a 2015 film version that I enjoyed, though I still prefer the book. The TV Tropes page on the book is quite entertaining.]
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