The Martian Book Review by Andy Weir

The Martian Book Review by Andy Weir

The Martian Book Review Written by Andy Weir

“I’m pretty much hosed.

That’s my considered opinion.

Hosed…”

These are the first words delivered, well almost I cleaned them up a little, to his logbook by Mark Watney, the adventurous and energetic star of the science fiction novel – The Martian by Andy Weir.

“The Martian” is a science fiction novel that speaks of the loneliness of the human being and its hidden potential. It speaks of the possibility of knowing how to overcome the difficulties. The Martian is a worthy novel that captures even those who are not a fan of science fiction or orbital mechanics. It is a very detailed description of the Martian environment which absolutely grips the reader with a confidential tone.

This is also the book that inspired the eponymous film by Ridley Scott. The movie is great as well and worth watching for sure. I usually rent movies first and then purchase the ones I really like. I rented The Martian from the Redbox last week and watched it using this sites free Redbox codes. Seems like they always have a code for a free or discounted rental.  It was amazing and definitely going to be adding it to my Blu-Ray movie collection.

Back to the book….

Summary

The Martian describes the adventure of Mark Watney, an astronaut, who miraculously escaped an accident that involved the Ares 3 ship and all its crew. The latter, believing him dead after seeing him hurl out of the cockpit and pierced by an antenna, cannot do anything but flee in search of salvation.

But Mark is far from dead, and with his air of arrogance and practicality clings to life tenaciously. Along with an innate sense of humor, his audacity, his strength, and above all, the desire not to be beaten by that world not suited to man, Mark will do anything to survive on an inhospitable planet like Mars. The planet where the extremely thin atmosphere, the lack of water, the high presence of CO2 and an average temperature much lower than that of Earth are totally unsuitable for a land creature, risking to kill him on many occasions. Mark finds himself in the worst nightmares that can happen to a human being. Having been abandoned on an unknown planet, where he has no chance of sending signals to the base camp since the communication equipment has been destroyed.

Very self-deprecating and with an innate sense of humor, Mark transcribes in his diary, every day spent on Mars, describing with accuracy and precision, the engineering techniques used to derive water from the atmosphere, to create a fertile ground for the cultivation of vegetables, in particular, the potatoes, so that they will save him from death by starvation.

Lonely on the red planet, Mark, fishing in all its botanical experience as an engineer and an astronaut, tries to find out some ingenious strategy for gathering food, getting water, while trying to communicate with the Earth and, above all, move from Acidalia Planitia up to Schiaparelli, along desolate expanses of red Martian sand, to save his skin and be picked up by the next futuristic mission Ares 4.

But all is not lost and Watney has luck on his side. In fact, he will not be forced to have to wait four years for the arrival of Ares 4 because the crew of Ares 3, aboard Hermes, became aware of his status and his fight for life. They go back to rescue him and therefore carry the largest shipment aid in human history.

Thoughts On the Book

Andy Weir, a California-based programmer and software engineer, passionate about aerospace engineering, relativistic physics, mechanics and orbital space exploration history, gives the breadth of all his knowledge to plot situations to the limit, life-saving solutions for a chemical arsonist, and uses extremely technical calculations where it is easy to get lost.

Describing in detail and consistent engineering techniques that are the basis of the descriptions of Mark, and the physio-chemical characteristics of the Martian planet, Weir leads us right on the red planet and it is as if we were in the place of the astronaut-looking botanical a way to fight the hours, the time that there seems to flow differently, hunger and the desire to fight until our last chance. The author makes real detailed descriptions of all the feats of survival by the protagonist (Mark), which denotes a mastery of the subject matter by the author, and this is definitely a positive mark.

In Conclusion

It is from the sixties that man commenced studying a way to reach the red planet by sending probes, Rover and other unmanned vehicles to collect data and bring them back to Earth. NASA, today, is planning to send a rover in 2016 for the Astrobiology Field Laboratory mission.

The Martian by Andy Weir is therefore not just a novel but it represents an advance of what man will be able to do in the coming years. Unexpected events, of course, are around the corner, to take the reader with bated breath. Beyond the frequent technicalities, the writing is simple and not too sophisticated.

For the moment let’s just enjoy this overwhelming story…!

The Martian Movie Trailer

Here is a trailer for the movie as well. Like I mentioned it is definitely worth checking out as well. I always like to read the books first, but the movie does a great job of portraying the story as well. Of course having Matt Damon as the star helps too.

To Kill A Mockingbird Book Review by Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird Book Review by Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird Review Written by Harper Lee

If you have never been in Alabama, the book ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, will make you feel like you’ve been in the thirties. It’s one of the books that has sustained impact on American culture, one of the most widely read, and perhaps one of the most beloved books of all time.

Lee, the author of this book, hooks her readers with a deceptively simple story, yet compelling of a family in a southern town, who is in the middle of a moral and ethical crisis. The book is filled with atmospheric evocations of how the life was in the 1930s, and a searing portrayal of racism and prejudice told through the eyes of a little kid. It shows us through kids, how understanding and knowledge can triumph over the old and the evil mindsets, that no matter how hard overcoming prejudice might seem that it must be overcome, it must be fought.

Plot Summary

Scout lives with his father, a lawyer and a widower named Atticus, and a brother named Jem. They live in a southern town and at the start of the book, both Scout and Jem are portrayed as innocent youngsters who plays with friends, attend the school like other kids, and attempts to communicate, with a neighbor named Boo Radley, who only very few people have seen. Scout and her peer have a lot of fun telling about him. The mystery of Bob is one of the many reasons to keep turning the pages to find out what happens in the end.

In the nutshell, Scout and her brother have fun, while their father is very busy with trials. Atticus firmly believes in the innate goodness of human beings that pushes him to defend a black man, Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping a white woman. The trial of this man takes place during the time of segregation when the black people would not be allowed to socialize with white people. In such an Era, if a white man said that a black man has committed a crime, the black was presumed guilty, although he would have a trial everyone knew that he will eventually be convicted.

Atticus however, tries all he can to persuade the jury that it’s wrong and against humanity to convict someone who is innocent. His words are heartfelt as he demonstrates how Tom, could not have possibly assaulted the victim. He even reveals the identity of a real villain. This enrages a very dangerous enemy that puts him in danger and even his family. At one time, Scout and Jem are abused by other children because of their father decision.

Despite his effort to convince the jury and the corresponding evidence that shows that Tom is innocent, he is still convinced and later died, tried to escape prison. We find Boo Radley, the neighbor, doing all he can to help Scout and Jem.

Through this experience, Scout realizes how important it is to see people to who they are, and not be blinded by other people perceptive. With this realization, she can now be able to embrace her father often advise, to practice sympathy and understanding and not to be blinded by fears and prejudice.

Lee has written a book that indeed pulses with life, with great compassion and a natural good humor. The book is evocative, tender, with the message that drives the action inside. Hope and sorrow, all combines brings a lively setting on the book. The dialogue is readable and very real; you can literally love as Scout makes up her minds. You would be intrigued by Atticus heroism, and you would want him to be a real man into today’s world. You will fall in love with the inner beauty and innocence found in Jem and Scout.

Conclusion

Even though the story was created many years ago, you can get the idea that what happened can also happen today in places where people fear each other social differences. To Kill a Mockingbird is a modern story of how heavy issues like racism, oppression and injustices should be met, how these issues should be fought and overcome without fear. This book is a tale of childhood, but it shows how our world should be and how we should all change it.

Of course you can always check out the movie as well!

To Kill A Mockingbird Movie Trailer (1962)

The Color Purple Book Review – Written by Alice Walker

The Color Purple Book Review by Alice Walker

The Color Purple Book Review – Written by Alice Walker

Rehashing old books, as per Harold Bloom, is one of the most astounding types of scholarly delight. I have perused The Color Purple by Alice Walker a few times in the previous decade, and every time the experience has been uplifting and often abandoned me incoherently joyful.

The Color Purple is primarily the narrative of two ladies: Celie and Shug Avery made up for lost time in the inferno of life in the profound American South. The figure however whose character smolders in my memory, and to whom I have a solid connection to is Celie. She, as David Copperfield and Pip are in Charles Dickens’ books, is the story’s central hero.

The world that Alice Walker portrays is however far grimmer than Dickens’. It is the world that has an irritating smell of subjection, with lynching sneaking out of sight. It is the world that delivered men and ladies whose souls were twisted by the affliction they needed to persevere. However, Alice Walker puts herself in characters that change and the story lights up with their improvement.

The book begins with Celie composing a letter to God. She composes in light of the fact that she is excessively embarrassed, making it impossible to ask. Celie’s difficulty starts in youth. At fourteen, she is assaulted by her stride father, and later has two kids by him.

In any case, to understand Celie in every one of her shadings one must understand her association with Shug Avery. Avery is different to her both in disposition and looks. She is beautiful, and she sings. She strikes an onlooker as a wanton vixen. In any case, one later understands that she is an insubordinate soul in a rebellious battle against the harm of a manly and supremacist society.

She is disdained by many. When she becomes ill the tattle tongues are voluble in festivity. Indeed ‘the minister got his mouth on Shug Avery, now that she down’. Then Albert, Celie’s husband, takes Avery in: into his home as well as into his bed. It is Celie who with awesome anxiety nurture the diminishing Avery to health. She day by day washes her, respectfully combs her hair and dutifully encourages her.

They fall frantically infatuated with each other: Avery, the woman with a scandal history and Celie, the submissive heavenly attendant. Like the scriptural whore, Mary, Avery with her affection figuratively pours oil on Celie’s tormented heart and makes her experience euphoria she has never known.

This experience changes them both: for Celie, the will to live triumphs over the unsettling power of self-uncertainty of her slight and delicate personality. Her gentility and even her sexuality are excited and emphatically attested. She was no more alone. She has somebody with whom she can communicate with moment simplicity and friendship.

Avery then again recovers her health. The nearness of Celie in her life feeds and softens her. Their adoration causes Avery to take off. She completely recuperates her health as well as looks for some kind of employment and even a husband. The two ladies never come up short each other in affection till the end.

Like the Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in Don Quixote, they bit by bit tackle each other’s qualities Avery gradually progresses while Celie’s personality illuminates with confidence. Perusing the book we unavoidably find out about life, and about who we are a result of these characters.

Along these lines when I think about The Color Purple, it is this amazingly cherishing union between these two altogether different ladies, and their happiness over the wretchedness of their lives that I discover generally vital. This beautiful and clever story dependably feels like a festival and a triumph: for blacks in America, for ladies in the public arena, and for humanity on the loose.

There are other vital characters that give the story its quality. Albert, Celie’s husband, smolders interminably with rage like a bit of bacon sizzling in its own particular fat. He lamentably goes on his freak personality to his child, Harpo. The last is hitched to Sofia, who is not your run of the mill docile wife. She trusts that viciousness is the best way to change the foul play of the male and white world she lives in. Her fierceness just about wrecks her at last.

The Color Purple is an incredible triumph for Alice Walker. She has considerable clear gifts of characters and places. The exchange between them helps the peruser imagine the setting as well as understand the social and political subtleties that won at the time. Along these lines The Color Purple is significantly more than just fiction yet a rich chronicled novel, and a great that will continue to be perused with delight for a long time.

The motion picture of the same title by Steven Spielberg, with Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg, is therefore a fitting landmark to this staggering story.

The Color Purple Movie Trailer

A Time to Kill Book Review – Written by John Grisham

A Time To Kill Book Review by John Grisham

A Time to Kill Book Review – Written by John Grisham

At this point, is there anything left to be said or written about John Grisham? With over 250 million copies of his books sold worldwide, eight novels adapted into feature films and a Galaxy British Book Award under his belt, Grisham is one of the most widely celebrated thriller writers of his time. However, it hasn’t always been like that. Back in 1989, a then-unknown Grisham had to send his first novel – aptly named A Time to Kill – to 28 publishers before finally finding success with New York-based Wynwood Press, which published it in a modest first printing of 5,000 copies. Wynwood Press kicked the bucket shortly thereafter, but the book itself eventually sold out and became popular for both its undeniable quality and introducing the genius of John Grisham to the world.

A Summary of the Book

A Time to Kill takes place in the fictional Southern town of Clanton, a setting that should be familiar to most Grisham fans. The story begins with a brutal rape of a 10-year old black girl named Tonya Hailey by two racist rednecks; while the perpetrators are quickly caught, the girl’s distraught father Carl Lee Hailey decides to take justice into his own hands. After murdering both assailants in cold blood, Carl Lee is charged with first-degree murder and imprisoned to await a trial. He quickly decides to put his fate into the hands of his old friend, Jake Brigance, a young white attorney modeled largely after Grisham himself. However, with a resurgence of the local Ku Klux Klan unit hellbent on seeking revenge against Carl Lee, it’s anybody’s guess whether the case will even get to the trial.

Important Thoughts

Right from the start, it becomes obvious that Grisham won’t be pulling any punches. The very first chapter contains a shocking depiction of a gang-rape and numerous instances of vulgar language, including the infamous N-word. While it’s hard to outright recommend the book to those with weak stomachs, it’s important to note that the violence is never too gratuitous and is always in the service of the story. The novel deals with heavy themes, including but not limited to racial prejudice, gender equality and capital punishment, and this kind of fiery storytelling is pretty much necessary to convey the gravity of the situation.

The book’s biggest strength undoubtedly lies in its cast of characters. The fictional town of Clanton feels like a real place with its own rich history, mostly thanks to the characterization of the people living in it. While it probably would have been easy enough to focus on the relationship between Jake Brigance and Carl Lee, Grisham decides to expand upon the story by introducing at least a couple of new characters in every chapter, most of whom end up being memorable and entertaining enough to help propel the story further forward. Many of the minor characters’ main purpose is to provide some much-needed moments of levity, which is a technique that Grisham would perfect in his later novels. The sheer length of the book allows Grisham to take his time and let his characters explore both sides of each important argument.

Overall, the book flows well and absorbs the reader from the very beginning. The almost palpable suspense, one of the key features of Grisham’s work, is present here throughout. However, as is the case with the majority of the first novels, A Time to Kill has certain narrative problems that clog the story’s pace. As Grisham himself readily admits, the book focuses too a bit too much on the repetitive townsfolk chatter while at the same time neglecting the trial the story is centered around by holding it off until four-fifths of the way in. Still, this is only a minor concern; the book is fast-paced enough that any problems disappear as quickly as they arrive.

In Conclusion

In the years that followed its humble beginnings, A Time to Kill slowly found an audience through its 1996 movie adaptation and John Grisham’s imminent rise to relevance. It may not have made much of an impact when it was first published, but make no mistake – this book is pure and unfiltered Grisham, and as such, deserves to be treated with utmost respect. There is a certain kind of passion that a writer injects into his first real book, and A Time to Kill is a wonderful reminder why those works are such a joy to read.

A Time To Kill Audio Book on You Tube

“It” Book Review Written by Stephen King

IT Book Review by Stephen King

A Review of Stephen King’s IT

Stephen King has long been seen as one of the most iconic figures in the history of horror novels. His 1986 novel IT is one of the most noteworthy stories that he has ever made. The story is one that focuses heavily on memories and childhood trauma.

A Summary of the Book

IT is a book that takes place in Maine over the course of two periods of time. The story begins in the 1950s as a number of kids in a small town come across a strange being that they refer to simply as IT. This is a creature that roams the sewers and kills children by posing as things that they fear. The most noteworthy form that IT takes is that of a clown although it can be seen in many other forms by all the kids in town.

The story picks up in the 1980s as a group of friends refer to their small town in Maine through a blood oath stating that they would return if IT appeared again. The story then moves on to look into what the team has to do in order to stop IT as the strange being continues to roam the town while killing people all around.

The story particularly delves into the origins of IT throughout its entire run. This includes a closer look at how IT has evolved from centuries as it was responsible for the killings of various people throughout the years.

Important Thoughts

IT is a fascinating story in that it focuses heavily on the concept of fear and how it can take hold in many forms. This can especially be seen from how IT can appear in many styles as a means of stopping people in their tracks and killing them. IT mostly appears as a clown named Pennywise, an interesting concept considering how many children are afraid of clowns.

The story also looks into the concept of small town facades. This looks into how many children are led to believe that the places that they can call home are supportive and welcoming when in reality they are often places that can be extremely dangerous. This is an interesting look at how the places that people often trust in and find comfort in may not always be as peaceful and calming as they wish they could be. This is a great look into just what makes some of these places, so intriguing to people, while also being specific in terms of how dangerous the world might be at times.

It is clear that the book is a little lengthy, what with it being a little more than a thousand pages in length. However, Stephen King manages to fill the space with plenty of characters that people will easily get invested in. The characters are described well and it is very easy to sympathize with them as the story goes along. This is especially for how many of them have their own ulterior motives in terms of what makes them want to stop IT before that creature can get into any real trouble. The story certainly has plenty of gripping moments that will intrigue people all the way through.

There is also a great look at how childhood trauma can last in this book. The trauma that the character experienced when they were young continues to be noticed as the story goes along and proves to be a fascinating part of the story. This shows that while anyone can move on with life, it may not always be as easy to do this as some might think it could be. As difficult as it can be, it is a good point that could be seen in terms of how important it is for people to develop throughout their lives in order to avoid the traumas and pains that they often get into.

Conclusion

Stephen King’s IT is a very entertaining horror novel that stands out for how it has a variety of appealing characters and scary situations. The story has a great theme as well as it focuses on how fear works and how what people think is peaceful is not always as happy as it might seem. This is a great book for those who are interested in getting into King’s world of literature to check out.

Interview With Stephen King

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The Catcher in the Rye – by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye book cover by J.D. Salinger

Introduction

Catcher in the Rye is a novel written by J.D. Salinger that is considered to be one of the greatest works that American literature has ever produced. It is also a controversial piece of literature that has often been linked to the assassination attempts at President Ronald Reagan and the murder of John Lennon. It was written in 1951, and all the controversy surrounding the book and its author has made it a timeless classic that sells by the thousands even on this day. 

While this book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is certainly a compelling read filled with excitement, a heavy dose of reality, a pinch of humor, and severe moments of depression to keep the readers engaged.

Summary

The story follows a 17-year-old character, Holden Caulfield, who is trying to make a sense of the world that surrounds him and the consequences of his actions. The plot deals with a personal and tragic story that many readers can relate to, regardless of their age. The story begins by portraying Caulfield as a loner who has recently been expelled from the prestigious boarding school, which leads him to roam around New York City aimlessly urging people to lend an ear to his plight. He finds out that the world is indeed very cruel as he thought as people never make an effort to understand him.

Making matters even worse is the fact that Caulfield’s teachers never seem to have the right words to encourage him, his mentor makes an unduly advances, and his friends barely managed to understand him. His journey of finding love meets a similar fate as his belief in humanity, as he fails to recognize or experience both. There is a lot more to the story that the user will experience as it progresses.

Impressions

Catcher in the Rye is one of the most influential and misunderstood novels of the 20th century due to the presence of strong language and themes related to controversial subjects. The story timeline stretches for just three days, but that is just enough for Salinger that to create the hard-hitting impressions of a cynical world with a young man caught in the middle. Most of the story takes place in a flashback with occasional references to the current time. 

Through the use of profanity, the author has ensured that readers can walk in the proverbial shoes off Holden Caulfield, who has almost given up on finding the meaning of life. The plot of this book is centered around the concept of morality that young readers may find hard to grasp, but it is nonetheless an eye-opening read for young adults and adults.

Conclusion

The author wrote this book in 1951, and it is still widely acknowledged and recommended even today. One can probably find a copy in every bookstore, and this novel has been assigned to many high schools as a lesson for over 50 years. Salinger managed to capture the voice of adolescence more poignantly and perfectly than anyone else did in his generation, and better than anyone probably could in the times to come.

The Catcher in the Rye Audio Book