My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Well that's the second most startling opening line I've ever read, only surpassed by Stephen Hunter's Dirty White Boys. And that, unfortunately, is the best aspect of the book: it is funny. It's suspenseful, well-written, interesting without being technical, and fun, but again: why do we care about this guy? His sense of humour is about it. Live or die just changes the book from comedy (in the modern "ha ha" sense) to tragedy (in the modern "oh, how sad, now bring me another beer" sense). I didn't care about any of the characters, except maybe Johanssen (sp?). And that's just cause she's short, and I (naturally) made her Irish (in spite of the description). I think my thought process was something like, "Heck with Andy Weir; she's getting freckles so I have someone to like."
That said, it was a good book, and worth reading. I apologize for the negative(ish) review: I'm just tired of passive protagonists. Give me a ballad for a change: someone we can like for reasons beyond "common humanity" or "funny." Honestly, had he killed himself to prevent his crew from risking their lives to save him, I would have liked him more. Write a note to be sent home with the next mission and take the morphine.
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