There is very little about the plot I’d like to say other than it’s terrific and you can read all about it elsewhere. I loved the chemistry and the science. It’s all about using your brain and knowledge to extricate yourself from difficult situations.
I was also intrigued by the way Weir got the book published. His father, btw, is a particle physicist, his mother and electronics engineer, and Weir himself a computer programmer but writer wannabe. He made a lot of money when AOL was bought out and he was forced to sell his stock at its peak (tough). He took three years off to write, but that went nowhere. When the Internet came along he realized he could write to an audience and after a while began writing a serial that became the Martian. He would also get comments from scientists who were fans suggesting changes in his math or chemistry. You can read much more about how it got to be a movie at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SemyzKgaUU in this interview with Adam Savage.
Loved this book.
Favorite quote: "Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped."