No, I rarely read the same book twice. Dont get me wrong, It was brilliant.
Heating bathwater with a radioactive isotope.
I laughed quite a few times.
A brilliant book, hard science sci fi like this is hard to come by.
I'm an avid audiobook "reader", sometimes going through up to 8 books a month (lots & lots of driving and no TV!). I believe I picked this one up on sale and it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable audio experiences I've had in some time. It took a few minutes to acclimate to the writing style of alternating between action (mainly academic) and science-speak. Noting some of the reviewer comments I was also very nervous about the narration style. While I can understand reviewers who were a bit negative - there have been several narrators who have cost me highly rated books - I have to say I was captivated by the dry inflection that Mr Bray used to portray the wit and and humor of an extremely smart and not-old man. I'm up for a second go!
Weir hasn't invented anything new with his trip into the final frontier: after a series of catastrophic events, astronaut becomes stranded in space, must strategize how to survive, and ultimately return to Earth. It's a dependable existing premise, set in a macrocosm we know very little about, that allows us to nourish and engage our imaginations -- feed our inner space geek. The premise has been around even before Sputnik and Apollo battled it out in the race to space. Some will read this and draw old parallels to Robinson Crusoe on Mars, and that resourceful banana-paste-sucking monkey that found the sausage-like water plants that sustained Commander Kit; some will remember castaway Tom Hanks and his ball-Friday, Wilson; and some will make a more current comparison, a breathy Sandra Bullock dodging space debris, bouncing off stranded space vehicles like a ball in a pinball machine. The book as an experience is large and entertaining because of the subject. The premise works again, here, without leaving you feeling like you've been on this mission before, in large part because of the sense of wide-eyed wonder and heart Weir imparts to the subject.
Andy Weir, a self confessed "life-long big-time space nerd," as well as software engineer with an impressive working knowledge of botany, chemistry, and mechanics, self-published The Martian in 2012. There is a kind of personal passion evident by that accomplishment and you can 't help but sense the connection, especially as you get to know the every-man kind of astronaut Mark Watney.
Watney is a wise-cracking astronaut/botanist/ engineer with an asset no other astronaut exhibited during training ... when the space sh__ hit the fan, he kept cool, calm, and had the best one-liners. He's the guy you most want to have a beer with, then be stranded in space with. Weir has given him the smarts and swagger you'll recognize in author Jonathon Mayberry's Joe Ledger character. That rakish, self-deprecating attitude, and the fact that he "is the best botanist in the world...definitely on Mars," fills Watney's log entries (used as the narrative) as he fights to survive alone on Mars. The information is impressive, and convincing, with a balance of facts that makes this seem plausible (and that shows you how much I know about the sciences).
The elements that make this an entertaining and fun read also have a polar impact; Watney's quips, in the face of Murphy's Law is space, can trivialize the situation. I'd have liked to see the switch to ground control's actions expand on the gravity of the situation, but Weir took what is probably the more accurate approach...he took the earth-bound coverage away from NASA and turned it over to the reality TV obsessed media, where the world checks in daily to Keep Up With Watney.
[Being just minutes before the Academy Awards, I couldn't help but think how the hit-movie Gravity would read on the page compared to The Martian, and this might give a perspective to the visual among us. The Martian might be the better story, with a broader plot that successfully creates the desolation of being stranded in space and keeps it tethered to two additional minute by minute plots. In book form, Gravity would be more Sputnik than Apollo.] Four stars is enthusiastic in my view; the banter gets a little locker room and trite, the technology wearing, but it's the kind of good fun entertainment you don't get often in books. And how often do we come away thinking "Science is cool?" A good listen for March -- the month of Mars, or any time.
"I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space," Stephen Hawking, giving us some food for thought.
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.
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.
This book should've been awful and dull. It's full of hard science and a guy alone on Mars. But I couldn't drag myself away from it. It's funny and engrossing and fascinating and thrilling. I took long lunch breaks because I didn't want to stop listening. I was nearly cheering out loud at certain points.
Can't wait for the movie!
Say something about yourself!
I loved this audible recording. I listened to it twice (I've never done that before) and bought the hard copy for my family. I've recommended it to 20 people in person. Totally out of my genre, too!
It’s different because the bad guys are the environment and the universe - not other humans. The hero Mark is an astronaut stranded on Mars.
What it is NOT:
It’s not depressing.
It’s not “woe is me all these bad things are happening to me. I’m afraid. I’m a victim.”
What it IS:
When a problem happens, Mark immediately goes into thinking, planning, and engineering mode, and takes action to fix it. His solutions are almost MacGiverish but not really, they are high science (whatever that is - I made that up). When he needs oxygen, he figures out how to get O2 molecules to hook up with some hydrogen molecules from somewhere else. Some of his solutions were too technical for me. But I was fine with that. The bottom line is it’s not a helpless victim feel. It’s a can do attitude. It’s suspenseful. There’s hope and anticipation. The ending is exciting and happy.
Other characters (on earth and on the spaceship Hermes) also made a good story. I liked the positive feel of different people/interests coming together to help.
R. C. Bray was excellent.
Narrative mode: 1st person Mark, 3rd person others.
Genre: Sci-Fi Suspense.
The narrator is really good and brings the book to life I haven't read the print version but the audio version is definitely up to standard!
The hilarious one liners the main character makes when facing impending death.
Mark is basically the only charter for 80% so I guess mark .
One word . Hilarious.
Buy you won't regret it I sure didn't I listen to this book in three days !!
Reminiscent of 'Star Trek'. A lot of suspense and fun. The narrator was a bit over the top at some points but overall well done. His style did suit the character. A great listen.