Mark Watney is the most solitary human being in the entire history of the human race. Stranded alone on Mars, the nearest people are his crew mates aboard the Hermes which is now speeding back to Earth without him. As far as they and everyone back on Earth know, Mark is dead.
The habitat can supply him with air and water and has food for a few months. But he has no way of contacting Earth, and no one will be returning to Mars for another four years. When the next mission does arrive it will land over 3000 km from his present location.
But Mark is not about to take this impossible situation lying down. Armed with his skills as a botanist, his astronaut training, and an irrepressible sense of humour he sets about solving the mountain of problems he needs to solve in order to survive. More food, more water to grow food, soil to grow the food in. The list goes on. Each problem must be solved one at a time.
Meanwhile on Earth his activities have been detected by a satellite orbiting the red planet. A rescue, if one is even possible, will have to be on a drastically shortened time frame. In the meantime Mark must keep himself alive in an environment where one slip up or lapse in concentration could be fatal.
It was great to see this book so faithfully adapted to the big screen. Anyone who thinks hard Si fi is dry and unentertaining needs to read this book or see the movie. It’s a user manual on how to laugh at adversity.