Oh my goodness I don't think I've ever read a more intriguing book that, in many cases, I did not understand.
To be sure I fully comprehended the tale behind the kilograms and meters. Astronaut Mark Watney was left behind due to a Martian dust storm that forced his fellow astronauts to take off, leaving Warney, who they thought was dead, behind.
Watney did not die and the story begins with Watney's efforts to survive, to communicate his dilemma to any living being, to somehow get food on a planet with nothing but red dust.
All of the components were left behind by the astronaut team, including three extra spacesuits, plenty of oxygen tanks and other froufrou that NASA designed.
Watney knew he would need additional food beyond the MRI's that were left behind. I did not know it takes a spaceship a year and a half to reach Mars. Watney knew that even if he was able to communicate to earth he would need more food.
How he solved this problem is one of the happier parts of this story.
The biggest problem I had with this book was my total lack of full understanding of the metric system, centigrade temperatures, miles that are kilometers. It was okay though. Most times such detailed knowledge was not needed. Still I wish I had a better grasp of such things to enhance my reading experience.
Weir uses his Watney character very well. The story flips from Watney's daily notes to the third person narrative of all that's going on back on earth and in the spaceship heading home, the one that had abandoned Watney.
Watney wrote terrific, funny and acerbic entries to his daily journal, bless author Weir for such writing talent. I think the switch between the narrative of Watney and the third person narrative to be intriguing, if sometimes a little confusing.
Please, everyone, read this book! It's just the right length, it's a great story, it's written well.