I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This is a really enjoyable book. The Martian makes science and math fun and interesting, and makes it clear that math can save your life. Mark Watney is a sarcastic astronaut/botanist/engineer stranded alone on Mars who uses ingenuity, math, chemistry and physics to survive while making a lot of fun of the NASA bureaucracy. This is really science themed humorous fiction more than it is science fiction. Almost all the science is real now, not far out speculation. The narration was just about perfect, excellently dealing with a lot of challenging writing. I am not sure the writing and story really deserve 5 stars, but I enjoyed it so much I stretched these ratings a bit. This has a funny sensibility and nice writing reminiscent of The Stainless Steel Rat series.
My favorite genres are absurdist humor, Sci-fi & modern fantasy, but, as you can see, I'll read just about anything. Don't mind the typos.
An American astronaut is inadvertently left behind on the martian mission. Storyline is fairly predictable but the main character is funny and realistic and kept me interested. Worth the listen. If you've listened to the book my title will make sense. :)
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
The Martian is a life or death comedy of errors, that just so happens to take place on the surface of Mars. Andy Weir starts us off with a Mars expedition that suddenly takes a wrong turn and the crew has to evacuate under emergency conditions, leaving one of their own behind presumed dead. I am pretty sure that Mark Watney wished he was dead but he isn’t and no one knows that he isn't, pretty much screwed. A majority of the story is of Watney, a spacecraft engineer, finding a way to communicate to NASA that he is indeed alive and of him finding creative ways not to go completely mad in isolation. I really wish that I had not listened to my head when I decided to not listen to this audiobook, I really really enjoyed all of it and got mad at people when they had the nerve to interrupt me. Here is where Weir won me over, Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut and a spacecraft engineer and the entirety of NASA are working diligently at creating a safe way for Watney to escape the desert of Mars, but continuously make mistakes. Seriously, if it could go wrong it did at some point. Reminding us that sure Watney might be super smart and NASA might be super smart but neither of them are perfect and yes it is true that stuff does happen, even on Mars. And not only once or twice but continuously, helping me relate to everyone as people like as opposed to super geeky scientists. I kind of expected there to be alien creatures or something until I realized that the martian in question was Watney. If you are looking for a space travel science fiction story that is not way out in the future or past or whenever they typically take place, with plenty cursing (not overly done and tasteful), palm of the hand to forehead comedy of errors, with all the technical jargon you can shake a stick at, this is for you.
Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.
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This is an excellent example of a book I would never have read without Audible and all the great reviews. I'm not really interested in science, engineering or space BUT in my opinion that's not what this book is about. It's about human beings and the human spirit.
I would have listened to this in one sitting if I could have. I couldn't tear myself away! The narration was perfect! I saw a couple of reviews online that found the hero's journal entries to be silly. I can see that written out, they may look that way, but on audio they are exactly right. Kudos to R. C. Bray who totally was our hero Mark.
The story is gripping and exciting, but also heartwarming. It would make a great movie. And if I were to be stranded anywhere, this is the guy I would want with me.
Remember how I said above that I wasn't interested in space? This week while I was in the middle of the book, there was a newspaper article on Mars and I read every word! That is the power of great fiction, to expand our interests and our horizons.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
At first glance you'd think that "The Martian" is some old book, or something in a retro 1950s sci-fi style. It's not. It's smart. It's modern. It is real SCIENCE fiction. Good stuff.
This is what Sci-Fi is supposed to be: well researched, interesting, thought-provoking... a story of what could really happen just beyond the horizon.
The protagonist is an astronaut who is resourceful, smart and funny... everything Sandra Bullock WASN'T in the movie "Gravity". In fact this book ruined that movie for me because it made that movie seem small and stupid.
I wish all sci-fi were written this well.
I give this book my highest recommendation.
There are few things better than a good story well told!
The story is packed full of science-- biology, botany, physics, chemistry, astronomy-- you name it and it is in there. But it is not at all dull or tedious. You do not have to understand it all completely (a lot flew right over my head) to enjoy the story. Mr. Weir manages to make even rocket science a seamless, painless part of a good story. At its heart is a very simple story about survival under the most hostile and unnatural conditions imaginable. There is an astronaut stranded on Mars without enough food, water and air to last until a rescue. And rescue is extremely doubtful since everyone on earth believes him dead. On the “bright side” there are plenty of "70's sitcoms and disco music to keep him company. His struggle to survive and remain sane and the herculean efforts to save him are excellent entertainment.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
Can't say really, which was better. My husband and I invented 'necessary' errands and great side trips in order to finish this spectacular listen asap! Then we saw the Matt Damon film and liked it just as well. They are different experiences, so you really have to do both.
It's so refreshing to listen to a "pure" SF adventure. No exotic or ravenous monsters needed, just a story of the survival of one man (aided by thousands of scientists and other supporters) by scientifically logical means.
This is one smart adventure that sticks with you - we found ourselves asking numerous questions and anxiously looking up some of the methods described to learn more about Mars and NASA.
The human elements of the book are also top notch, with a very sympathetic central character and lots of interesting people in spaceships and on the ground all around the world trying to bring him home.
R.C. Bray is a terrific narrator. All told, can't say enough about this writer, this audio, and about the movie made from the material.
Engineer, wife, audiobook addict. I live for those books that you just cannot put down.
I finished this audiobook in less than 2 days. I could think of nothing else. I am an engineer and this book tickled my brain with the science and technology while still using it
to further the plot. It was one of the most compelling books I have ever listened to and I found myself sitting here just pondering it for hours after it was finished.
The science fiction bar has been raised high in this tale of a struggle for survival on a hostile planet. Our hero has been left behind and assumed dead by his mission mates. Mark must overcome many obstacles and each life threatening conundrum he has to face is fascinating along with the plausible technical solution he comes up with. If you are not a fan of detailed explanations outlining the very real situations faced on a journey like this, you may feel a bit bogged down.
A fine tuned sense of humor has been mixed in with hard science as this astronaut makes wry observations while battling to endure in a harsh environment. The narrator, R. C. Bray does an excellent job in getting that comedy across.
There are three main perspectives in this epic tale. We hear from Mark with his daily trials, and I will let you discover the other two for yourself if you decide to give this book a listen.
Absolutely. I was a little hesitant to begin the book, as the publishers blurb, which is really the first paragraph or so of the actual book seemed a little over the top. However, after listening for the first 10-15 minutes the story draws you in and keeps you there to the end.
The pacing of the story was perfect and I never felt that there were portions that were not important to advancing the plot/storyline.
The pacing of the story was perfect and I never felt that there were portions that were not important to advancing the plot/storyline. The technical details were plausible and not subject to technical jargon that solely functions as filler to make the story sound high-tech. At the same time the technical aspect was balanced with a wonderfully sarcastic sense of humor, which provided good relief from the stress one would feel from being stuck on Mars.
Additionally, the plot twists did not seem forced in an effort to drum up drama. The things that went wrong were potential hazards in space exploration.
A line from the book; Watney, "Disco, DISCO!?"
No, I listen on the airplane most of the time or while driving.