Driving over 100,000 mile a year since 1983, I got hooked on audible books on tape 30 years back. I now listen from my bicycle 2 hours a day
Great main character in an impossible situation with a wry sense of humor
What's not to like??? Everything was good or better.
This is an excellent book for audible performance due to the journal format - like thinking out loud.
Edge of the bed or seat tension due to the extreme situation offset by a wry sense of humor. Yes I laughed and held my breath and felt amazed - even with the lengthy detailed descriptions of 70's TV sitcoms in space.
Just an excellent 10 or 12 hours of pure entertainment that never lagged.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
I don't read Sci-Fi or enjoy Sci-Fi movies. I have smart friends and family that love Sci-Fi, but it just has never been interesting to me. I have always thought it was because the fantasy thing bothered me. Do you realize how hard it was for many of my friends to convince me that I would love a book titled "The Martian"?
I started this audio book thinking I would give it an hour and then return it for a refund. Well, that thought lasted for the first 5 minutes into this book. WOW! I'm not kidding. This book reads like good non-fiction and contains tons of science that was absolutely fascinating. I considered taking a vacation day from work so that I could just continue listening to the book when my commute to work ended.
The story-writing and the narration are pitch perfect. The story builds and builds with Mark Watney, the McGyver of space travel, using his wits, humor and science to survive. It reminded me about how I felt after reading "Robinson Crusoe" as a child. Others have given exhaustive narratives of what to expect. I only like to give reviews about how a book makes me feel. Well, "The Martian" makes me feel GREAT! Get it with your next credit.
Kudos to Andy Weir and R. C. Bray.
Books have always been an escape for me: initially from my studies, now from too much work. A good story is my favorite remedy.
Other reviewers have described the book so well, as have many of the media outlets who were smart enough to recognize this amazing book. However, I will add to the chorus in appreciation of the wonderfully relatable style Mr. Weir applied to the telling of this story. It worked perfectly and drew me in immediately. More importantly, however, Mr. Bray's narration was absolutely perfect. There are so many wonderful readers of audio books, but I will remember Mr. Bray's performance to be one of the best I've encountered. Outstanding writing. Outstanding narrator. Outstanding book. Period.
I'm picky with my sci-fi, but I've finally found one I can absolutely promote! No hand-waving pseudoscientific haberdashery here - every bit of technology and physics in this book, so far as I can tell, is achievable in our real world with real known engineering. A couple of the action sequences strained my credulity a tad, but only because the characters turned out to be exceedingly lucky, not because it's physically impossible. This book satisfies the engineer in me in a way no other work of fiction ever has.
My mom points out that Weir could have included a little more detail on Watney's mental state, and I'm inclined to agree. That's not a big detracting factor, but mostly just an observation. The focus is certainly on the technology and the decision making process of the characters. Given how much research Weir must have put into those aspects, I can't fault him for focusing on them.
Bray's performance is among the best you'll find on Audible as well. This book is definitely worth your time!
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
My reading horizons consist of Paranormal, Paranormal, and more Paranormal. So, when another reviewer fervently recommended this SciFi audiobook to me, I was skeptical. However, past experience has taught me not to ignore my fellow bloggers, and that served me well once again because THE MARTIAN was outstanding! This genre isn’t my forte, and Math was always my weakest subject in school, but pair them with Andy Weir’s writing & R.C. Bray’s narration, and soon you too will be endorsing this title with zeal.
This story is told via a series of log entries from Mark Watney’s POV, with intermittent JPL/NASA, Hermes, etc narratives. It was funny, dire, hopeful, scientific, and so much more. The protagonist makes good use of his mechanical engineering & botanist background which lead to a lot of technical jargon that even laymen like me could appreciate. The hero’s fight for survival was one that every human can relate to, and his ability to laugh in the face of adversity was oftentimes the difference between life & death.
You’d think that a novel that’s restricted to a habitat, a rover, and a deserted planet as locales, and one character all by his lonesome would get tedious in the long run, but if you’re Weir that’s all you need. Mark Watney made this book for me with his sarcastic sense of humour, and MacGyver-like ingenuity. His last name really should have been Murphy because anything that can go wrong, will—at the worst possible moment. From magic duct tape, to pondering the accurateness of Aquaman, to solving terminal velocity à la Iron Man; you will fall in love with Watney.
I can’t say with utmost certainty, but I’m 99.9% positive that the calculations would have bored me to tears if it weren’t for R.C. Bray’s enthusiastic performance. The protagonist celebrates victories with yays, and setbacks with boos, and those emotions came through loud and clear in Bray’s tone. Saving Mark eventually became a world-wide effort, and as a result, the narrator had to cycle through tons of accents including Hindu, German & Chinese, and he aced them all. Unless you’re a whiz, I’d recommend listening over reading to most.
THE MARTIAN was passed on to me, and now it’s my turn to do the same for you. You’re welcome.
The story starts with an impossible to survive situation which contrary to all expectations the hero of the story survives. Now here's where the really amazing part comes into play; everything in the entire story is based upon reality. Nothing is contrived. Nothing is left to good luck or contrived circumstances. The author simply utilizes the likely NASA's good planning and sheer brilliance on his own part to show how a sufficiently resourceful man could survive being marooned on Mars. This is the amazing thing to me so I'll say it again - nothing is contrived. The author makes use of an entirely plausible set of conditions and thinks up ways that the individual challenges involved in surviving the conditions of Mars are met and dealt with. Unlike any other book I've ever read that dealt with a similar plot line this one had zero, I repeat, zero, none, nada, a complete and total lack of questionable assumptions, plot twists or unexplained 'magic happens here' events to make a problem just go away. Instead, the author brilliantly first poses and then disposes of one problem after another in a fashion that is completely and totally logical and plausible. I am in awe of the sheer brilliance of the story.
This is hands down 5 star book.
This is an amazing book. Book captures the attention of the reader from the start and it does not let go till the end.
It is a survival story of an astronaut (Mark) who is accidentally abandoned at Mars. It starts it seems hopeless that as a reader I didn't see any hope for a person to survive any long period of time on Mars. But, as book progresses, Mark breaks down his needs and resources that would keep him alive. Book is written/narrated in such a fashion that I felt that I was with Mark on the desolate planet.
Author did a great job of describing the technical / environmental challenges Mark faced, and then the explanation of how these challenges were solved by Mark with his technical knowledge along with his ingenuity and courage. I really enjoyed how Mark figured out the storm’s direction: ) (trying not to give away too much)
Sense of humor is great as well. Mark’s comments about 70’s music to DND’s magic spell are outright funny to hilarious
More than anything, book describes what makes us human. Mark sets an inspirational example of human will to live and not giving up against tremendous odds. There is plenty of narrative about how humanity came together to help him get off the planet. What stand out is that being stranded on Mars was that Mark was not afraid of death, but rather dying alone.
I was cheering for Mark throughout the book, and I highly recommend this to seasoned listeners to new sci fi readers. Narration is tremendous as well.
I have already recommended this book to several friends. It is different and captivating.
Our hero, of course. Who wouldn't love him?
Bray's reading style is so natural that you feel you are listening to the characters talk. Made our hero's emotions, struggles and humor very real.
Abandoned on a hostile planet. How long before you give up?
One might think that this book would not interest a non-techie person because the details are accurate and scientific. But I enjoyed all that just as much as the story itself. The writing style just moves the story along even in places a lesser author might have bogged us down in minutia.
Geek heaven with techno babble everywhere. The initially smart ass protagonist turned into a lovable, if dry, teddy bear. The tension level was almost unbearable. I was mentally exhausted halfway through the book and it didn't let up until the last page.
Vaguely reminiscent of Lucifer's Hammer, Silent Running and similar survival tomes.
The emotions of the characters were superb. Venkat in particular.
This is one of those books I'd really like to give 3 1/2 stars. I mostly enjoyed it but while listening, the thought occurred many times that it was a good thing that I'm really "into" the space program, because otherwise I'd probably be bored. The premise is fascinating --guy gets accidentally stranded on Mars, how can he possibly survive until they can come rescue him (IF they can rescue him at all)? But aficionados of Thrillers or Action/Adventure books are likely to be disappointed; there is no "Big Thing" to thrill or provide action. Everything is pretty much within the realm of reality --no aliens, no killer asteroids, no wild action. The thrills & action lie within the realm of the mundane; he puts in an enormous amount of work to survive, have food & oxygen sufficient to last.
So if the basic realities of the space program arent' interesting enough for you, you'll probably be rather bored. If the problems & difficulties inherent in traveling to & surviving in non-Earth & outer space environments fascinate you, you're golden.
The reader did a decent, workmanlike job; not inspired or amazing, but solidly competent.