Title: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Book Beginnings quote:
Friday56 quote from page 30, last page of preview:
Summary (Spoiler alert): Ryland Grace wakes from a coma. Slowly it dawns on him that he is on a spaceship and his other crew members are both dead. But why is he here? That comes to him slowly also. He is on a mission to Tau Ceti, a nearby solar system, to see if he can discover what is causing a drain of energy on our sun. At the rate that the sun is dimming the earth will be a freezer in a few decades. As his mission comes into focus, Grace discovers another spaceship nearby and learns that it too is on a similar mission to save its star and planet from extinction. "Weir’s latest is a page-turning interstellar thrill ride that follows a junior high school teacher–turned–reluctant astronaut at the center of a desperate mission to save humankind from a looming extinction event" (Kirkus).
Review: 2021 has been an amazing reading year for me. First I found the near-perfect book for book club discussions in Molokai by Alan Brennert. Then all in one summer, I've listened to two near-perfect audiobooks with my husband during long car trips. The first was a series of essays by John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed. The second near-perfect-audiobook-for-a-car-trip from this summer is Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. The narrator, Ray Porter, who I think sounds like Tom Hanks, did a great job and so did the production company since they had to come up with a way to make sounds when the alien entered the scene and began talking. It was genius!
Secondly, Project Hail Mary is the first book I've talked to my brother about in about 50 years. You may not think it is weird to not talk to family members about books but it is for me. I talk to everyone about books and until now I never had a book in common with my brother, since 1001 Arabian Nights which we both loved when we were preteens. When I told my brother that we were listening to this Andy Weir book he said he'd read it a few months ago. He wanted to know where we were in the story and he laughed and chuckled as we talked about it. Then my nephew chimed in. He loved it, too. Another nephew perked up his ears and decided he'd better get a copy. We were having a family reunion and one of the big topics of conversation was this book. If you are female and you wish you could talk about books with your dad or brothers or other men in your life, I recommend you get them a copy of Project Hail Mary.
One more thing, obviously I love the book and I felt sure everyone else would agree with me. Out of over 18,000 ratings on Goodreads it has a 4.55 star average. Wow, that is very high. So call me surprised when I hopped over to read a few professional reviews and found that the reviewers for the NYT and for the Washington Post didn't particularly like the book. One said that it was clearly just written for Hollywood. And the other found fault in the fact that Weir, who clearly understands complicated science and physics facts, didn't have a checklist in the spaceship. Really people? The book is science fiction. We do not have the technology to fly to Tao Ceti or even Venus but Weir makes it seem possible and plausible yet you are quibbling about a detail missed in the story or worried that people will like a movie made from it?
The timeliness of this climate change parable couldn't be more perfect either with the UN Climate Report that came out yesterday with a headline of "Climate Change widespread, rapid, and intensifying." In Project Hail Mary all the nations and peoples of the world worked together to make the project possible. We, too, are all going to have to link arms and work together to solve our climate problems and pray it is not too late.
Honestly, I just want to gush about the book. Oh, I almost forgot to mention it. Project Hail Mary is funny. It is laugh out loud funny at points and very poignant at others. I even cried a few tears. Please, I can't say enough good things, just read it.
- 20-Book Summer Challenge: 16th book
- Audiobook Challenge: 24/25
- Big Book Summer Challenge, 496 pages long.