Friday, October 24, 2014


Flashback Fridays are set aside for a few words about a book, movie, television show, album or other favorite thing from my past I think may be worthy of your time.

Today is a trip into the not too distant past necessitated by news trickling out about a movie based on the best book I've read this year: The Martian by Andy Weir. To be directed by Ridley Scott, screenplay by Drew Goddard (World War Z), the cast thus far includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Sean Bean, and Kate Mara. Reportedly these folks are taking less than their usual payday in order to be part of the movie. If I could buy a ticket today for a November 2015 release, I'd do it.

Why so excited? The Martian blew the doors off my pressure vessel. In a nutshell, Mark Watney is part of a mission to Mars gone wrong. He's stranded with insufficient provisions and no way back. Martian toast. In his own words in the opening line of the book:
I'm pretty much fucked. 
What follows is a logbook of Mark's efforts to get off the Red Planet. I was somewhat reluctant to read it. I don't read a great deal of science fiction. I have no lifelong astronaut dream. I do not work in a job requiring much in the way of math or equations for very good reason. What the hell about this book was going to interest me? Turns out: Every. Damn. Thing.

I don't care who you are or what you read, this book is the first recommendation out of my mouth to anyone who asks (and many who don't), without hesitation. To date, no one has been disappointed. In fact, everyone raved. The Martian has something for everyone. Are you going to understand everything that's going on? Hell no. Does it matter? Hell no.

The Martian is hilarious, sciencey, ulcer-inducing, edge-of-your-seat reading.  If I could force you to read one book this year, this would be it.

I'm also a little partial to Andy as he's a local author and a really nice guy.  If you get a chance to see him at an event, do so.  Ask him how The Martian came to be a book, it's a fascinating story.


Chris said...

I've never even heard of it. I'll check it out, though....

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

Let me know what you think. I'm sure you'll get more of the tech stuff than I did, but it didn't even matter. Super fun stuff.

About Malcolm Avenue Review

I was lucky enough to be born and raised in a nifty, oak-shaded ranch house on Malcolm Avenue, a wide-laned residential street with little through traffic, located amid the foothills of Northern California. It was on that street and in that house I learned most of my adolescent life lessons, and many grown-up ones to boot. Malcolm Avenue was "home" for more than thirty years.

It was on Malcolm Avenue, through and with my family and the other families that made up our neighborhood of characters, that I first learned about and gained an appreciation for the things I continue to love the most to this day: music, animals, photography, sports, television/movies and, of course, books.

I owe a debt of gratitude to that life on Malcolm Avenue. It gave me a sense of community and friendship, support and adventure. For better and worse, life on that street likely had the biggest impact on the person I've become. So this blog, and the things I write here, are all, at their base level, a little bit of a love letter to Malcolm Avenue.


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