Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Martian; Andy Weir

The Martian; Andy Weir
Brillance Audio and Random House


When readers started raving about The Martian, my immediate reaction was "no way this one could be for me, I NEVER read science fiction"  I gave in though when the library audiobook became available, and boy was that a good decision. This is not a book about aliens or anything like I imagined SF to be,

The main character is Mark Watney, a mechanical engineer and now astronaut who was one of first men to walk on Mars. However, something goes horribly wrong on this last mission. When a dust storm hits and something punctures his spacesuit, he finds himself left alone on Mars.  His crew members assume he is dead, and they decide to abort their mission return to Earth on their mother ship, Hermes.

The rest of the story focuses on Mark's quest to stay alive until the next Ares mission returns. He calculates the shelter, water and food situation and figures that he has 400 days of food if he starts rationing.  He needs to work on a way to establish communication with NASA and let him know that he is still alive. Fortunately, he has a few tools and devices left behind like a generator, oxygenator and water reclaimer that helps him keep a positive outlook and his of humor as well. He even decides to grow potatoes since they'll be fast to produce and, will provide plenty of need calories as well. If he gets bored he has that covered as well, for entertainment he has a few mystery novels, old disco music and TV shows from years gone by.

Told generally in the first person and through a series of log entries, The Martian, is an entertaining read.  It would be difficult not to root for such a smart, determined, resourceful and witty individual like Mark, who keeps his spirits high despite his dire circumstances.  There is a lot of technical jargon in this book that could have gotten boring, but it never did. The story is very engaging, and the audiobook reader, R.C. Bray was the best of the best for this particular story. I highly recommend this book (especially the audio) for all those readers who've said, "SF is not for me." Read it, you'll be glad you did; creative and entertaining, and you'll be even able to see this story on the big screen in the near future.

5/5 stars
(audiobook)

29 comments:

  1. I'm going to do it. Listen to it on audio, I mean. I have been undecided, even after reading some very positive reviews. But, I think I'll try it. Thanks for the nudge!

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  2. I could have written your first sentence! With everyone raving about The Martian, I know I need to give in, too :)

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  3. A friend of mine lent me this book ages ago and it is lingering on my nightstand. I'm not sure why I haven't felt compelled to pick it up.

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  4. I really should listen to this book. My husband and I have both worked in the space industry for our adult lives and the town we live in is basically run by space. I've heard it's meticulously researched. I'm glad to know a non-science fiction fan enjoyed this as this isn't my usual genre either.

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  5. Science Fiction is not for me, either, but your review does a great job selling this book. I am working at the library today and will be checking it out!

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  6. Okay, so your review just CONVINCED me I have to read this book! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your well-written review. :-)

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  7. I am also in the "not a sci-fi reader" camp, but I picked this up because I was a huge space junkie when I was a pre-teen. I loved this book so much! I read it in print, but I'm sure the audio was great. This will make a fabulous movie!

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  8. I'm one of those non-sci-fi people who loved this book! and it was mostly because of Mark Watney. He's someone I would totally want to have lunch with....and I was rooting for him more than I've rooted for any character in a long time. I also enjoyed the Hunger Games-esque thing they had going where "the world was watching" at home.

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  9. Yay! I've been wanting to read this and get the audio for my hubby (his reading preference) but our library doesn't have it :( Maybe I need to go make a fuss!

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  10. I think this is a book I could really enjoy, as long as it has a happy ending. I would hate to root for him, only to have him die at the end. Next time I'm at the store, I may have to take a peak at the end, just to make sure.

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  11. I felt the same way when I got this book but felt I had to give it a go. Loved it too! Emma

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  12. I have been a little torn about this book. Your review makes me want to read it though. :)

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  13. Great review Diane. I've seen other positive reviews. I'm glad you loved it!

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  14. I loved this book too! You're right about it being difficult NOT to root for someone like Mark!

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  15. I loved this book too! You're right about it being difficult NOT to root for someone like Mark!

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  16. Yay! So glad you gave it 5 stars too!

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  17. I've seen great reviews of this book and even though the synopsis sounded interesting, I didn't think I'd like it because I'm not a fan of SF. But after reading that you liked it so much (and not a fan of SF either), I think I'll get the audio from my library.

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  18. I heard so many good things about it that I'll step over my no SF reading to try it! :)

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  19. I loved the audio of The Martian, too, and it was on my list of 2014 favorites!

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  20. I am glad to see another fan! Rereading this by audio is on my list for 2015. :)

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  21. Once I got past the mathematical equations I was good. I liked the sense of humor that was present throughout the book. Looking forward to the Ridley Scott movie starring Matt Damon.

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  22. I am listening to this book right now! I am enjoying it very much. It's gotten nothing but good reviews.

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  23. This one is waiting patiently on my TBR shelf! I gave it to my husband (and my father and step-father!) for Father's Day last year - they all loved it. I want to get to it before the movie comes out.

    Sue

    Book By Book

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  24. I've been hearing a lot about this book, and I might have to give it a try! Thanks for your review.

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  25. Yours is the first review of this book I've read.
    I was tempted when I saw it at a book shop but not sure it would be for me. I was afraid it would be a bit too dry. It doesn't seem so though.

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  26. Diane, I have to choose a book club book to be read on Salt Spring Island, B.C. There will be men included for just this trip reading along. I just can't pick the wrong book. Do you think fortyish men would like The Martian. I trust your judgement. I am the groovy old Auntie so I have some pressure. Thanks!!!

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  27. Well, this really doesn't sound like my kind of book, but then I never thought I'd enjoy Ready Player One and it turned out to be one of my all-time favorite audio reads, so I'm paying attention to all my friends who have blogged about this book and I WILL get it on audio as soon as possible! Glad to know you loved it.

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  28. So, Diane, I did it! Whale watching in the Pacific in a rubber boat, saw Orcas up close, hiked rocky paths to tide pools, ate grilled salmon, drank an affogato, and, drum roll, picked the right book for book club!! The Martain was a hit!

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  29. So, Diane, I did it! Whale watching in the Pacific in a rubber boat, saw Orcas up close, hiked rocky paths to tide pools, ate grilled salmon, drank an affogato, and, drum roll, picked the right book for book club!! The Martain was a hit!

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