As an engineer, this book was pretty good. Every step of the way trying to survive, you have to calculate fuel, food, distance, etc. While I'm listening and thinking "how long will that supply last if you do it differently" he also thinks and does the math. Pretty cool book.
I thought this book was very enthralling. I enjoyed ALMOST every second of it. At first, the arithmetic was my favorite part. So completely thought out. Some of those scenes dragged on a little too long. Other than that I thought Mark was hilarious. Reminded me so much of how I would react to stressful situations. By making jokes. It was great. Can't wait to see Matt Damon play Mark. He wasn't who I pictured as Mark but he should do really well at it. I think I pictured Mark as a Robert Downey Jr. or maybe a Matt McConaughey.
I've been fortunate with my audiobook choices, almost all of them have been top-notch reads, but The Martian ranks right up there. R.C. Bray did a PHENOMENAL job with this, bringing Mark to life so boldly and full of truth. Truly fantastic, with excellently done peripheral characters as well.
I'm a 47 year old woman who shops for a living. I'm interested in science even though I don't have a mind for it - I literally failed every math and science class I ever had in school. But, I followed this easily even though it wasn't dumbed down in any way (I know it wasn't because my husband DOES have a mind for all of that and I grasped some of it better than he did). This was, by far, the best science class I ever sat though.
Weir and Bray took what is largely a science procedural and made it absolutely fascinating. My husband and I started listening to this as we set out on a Saturday full of highway driving and errands. I really hadn't read any spoilers or info on this book, all I knew was that a friend couldn't recommend it highly enough, so I grabbed it. From the first minutes we were hooked. We hurried through our errands to get back to the car so we could turn it back on. We caught lunch in a drive-through so we wouldn't have to get out. When we got home, we dropped everything on the floor so we could plug the ipod into a speaker and finish a chapter...or two.
A full appreciation of the abundance of personality Weir created in Mark Watney. And, Bray's style makes you feel like he's speaking just to you; like he's your personal guide to this world he lives in. Fantastic.
It definitely made us both laugh many times. I didn't cry, but I was literally on the edge of my seat there toward the end!
Even if this isn't your usual literary fare, give it a try. I swear you will be very pleasantly surprised. I am truly looking forward to what Andy Weir comes out with next.
Much of what was in the book was speculation - the subject matter and future setting necessitate this - but it is remarkably plausible. But the book neither deteriorates into real or imagined technobabble, nor does it talk down to the reader. The author strikes a terrific balance of science, suspense, and human interest.
This was a rare book that hooked me from the first paragraph and kept me hooked until the last punctuation mark.
It's hard to pick just one, so I'll say that, collectively, the scenes where things go badly wrong are my favorite, because of the realistic way Mark allows himself to freak out initially, but then forces himself to calm down, take stock of the situation, and deal with it rationally.
Apollo Thirteen, The Next Generation
Rarely do I read a bok and have no complaints about it. The Martian is one such book. Mr. Weir has taken a plausible premise, constructed a believable plot around it, and dishes these out to the reader in a griping, leave-you-wanting-more story. I hope there are many more books by MR. Weir to come.
I tried to read this and lost interest, but I didn't have the timing right. Listening to R. C. Bray, I actually laughed out loud and couldn't stop listening. Just WOW great story, great narrator!
This was a wonderful combination of hard science, science fiction and humor. Other than John Scalzi, I can’t think of any science fiction author who does as good a job with humor. Listening to this as an audio book made the humor that much more enjoyable. The performer put just the right amount of flippancy into his voice as he read the daily log entries of the protagonist, an astronaut who is just trying to get home. Some of the funny parts that made me laugh out loud included the ode to duct tape: “Yes of course duct tape works in a near vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped.” Also the protagonist’s listing of all the songs on the ipod that had something to do with his situation (Life on Mars, Rocket Man , Alone Again-Naturally , and Stayin’ Alive).
But the author wasn’t all about the laughs. There were plenty of very interesting science sections, like when the protagonist described how he synthesized water, or prepared the soil to grow potatoes, or used a pack of plutonium to provide heat without irradiating himself. All these sections were clearly very well researched, but were written in a way that was very accessible and understandable. Many parts reminded me strongly of the book “Apollo: The Race to the Moon” by Charles Murray, particularly the parts describing how the team back at NASA would troubleshoot the challenges being encountered on the mission. By including the technicians back on Earth and their troubleshooting, the author avoided the mistake that many fiction novels make--focusing exclusively on the astronauts, ignoring the vital role played by the hundreds of experts at Mission Control, without whom the space flights would be impossible.
Still, I thought the author’s decision to tell most of the story from the first person perspective of Mark Watney, the stranded astronaut, was brilliant. The few chapters that moved away from Mars and told what was happening on Earth spoiled some of the magic, breaking the sense of isolation I felt when the only person’s voice was Mark Watney’s. That magic was so powerful that I actually got a bit verklempt a couple of times. If you are fascinated by real space flight and like to think about things like the logistics of what it would really take to get a man on Mars, you should definitely read this book. Best book about Mars I have read yet.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
This is the story about being stranded all alone in a planet, with all the isolation, emotional and existential terror that would imply. Throughout the story, you'll keep asking yourself "will he/won't he survive" and at what cost. It's an excellent story, even though I had my doubts going in. It did a great job proving it was well worth my time and credit.
Maybe but not for a few years.
Mark Watney, the Martian (of course).
When Mark realizes he turned the Mars "Hab" into a giant hydrogen filled bomb, well it was an accident.
When Commander Lewis finds out the Watney is still alive after believing he died on Mars.
I really enjoyed the science in the book. I'm sure everything is plausible even when far fetched and that is what kept me tuned in to the story. It stretched my ability to believe when the other astronauts started to act off script but I don't want to give spoilers. I'd say the last 20% of the book felt off for the reason I just gave, but the story needed a dramatic ending otherwise it would have fallen flat. If you can suspend belief just enough, the whole thing is just a great tale of survival, suspense and adventure. It is a geeks wonderland; in the best possible way.
Yes, ingenious ways of staying alive.
Excellent performance all around. Provided a different intonation for every character although I thought that the Indian accent for Venkat Kapoor was a little over the top.
My son listened in for parts of the book and loved it. However, I had to stop sharing the audiobook with him because of the somewhat frequent profanities. Is it possible to get a PG version?
Emergency physician and fantasy nerd in Chicago.
no, it's mostly a thriller and therefore not really the kind of book that you listen to more than once.
The first launch from NASA is really well written.
Everything, is a fantastic narrator. Doesn't overdo the voices but definitely plays it up a little bit.
This is really well written and the physics background is really fun. I almost wonder if this would've been better as a shorter book like a novella. The basic formula is
a) everything seems to be going okay
b) disaster which seems like it will scuttle everything
c) creative resolution of disaster
It's not bad but the fact that it repeats over and over and over gets fairly old. I actually didn't finish the book just read a summary of the last few hours on Wikipedia.