Audie Award Finalist, Science Fiction, 2014
Completely reperformed by R.C. Bray to match the 2014 Random House release! includes Andy Weir's newly reimagined ending!
“One of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time. It feels so real it could almost be nonfiction, and yet it has the narrative drive and power of a rocket launch. This is Apollo 13 times ten.” -Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Impact and Blasphemy
“A book I just couldn’t put down! It has the very rare combination of a good, original story, interestingly real characters and fascinating technical accuracy…reads like MacGyver meets Mysterious Island. -Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Commander of the International Space Station and author of An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth
"The best book I've read in ages. Clear your schedule before you crack the seal. This story will take your breath away faster than a hull breech. Smart, funny, and whiteknuckle intense, The Martian is everything you want from a novel." -Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool
“The Martian kicked my ass! Weir has crafted a relentlessly entertaining and inventive survival thriller, a MacGyver trappedon Mars tale that feels just as real and harrowing as the true story of Apollo 13.” -Ernest Cline, New York Times bestselling author of Ready Player One
“Gripping…shapes up like Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe as written by someone brighter.” -Larry Niven, multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the Ringworld series and Lucifer’s Hammer
“The tension simply never lets up, from the first page to the last, and at no point does the believability falter for even a second. You can't shake the feeling that this could all really happen.” -Patrick Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Breach and Ghost Country
"Strong, resilent, and gutsy. It's Robinson Crusoe on Mars, 21st century style. Set aside a chunk of free time when you start this one. You're going to need it because you won't want to put it down." -Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The King’s Deception and The Columbus Affair
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills - and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit - he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"
©2012 Andy Weir (P)2013 Podium Publishing
I love to read books; and now just recently I've discovered that audio books are very cool!! I'm also an author. You can find the SciFi book "The Curse of Europa" here on Audible or on Amazon.
The story was great and the narration was awesome!
That's actually hard. I'd have to say maybe 2001 a Space Odyssey meets Space Balls. It is VERY realistic, like 2001, but it is funny as hell, like Space Balls.
Awesome performance. I think his voice matched up well with the main character's persona great.
Made me laugh many many times. Made my almost cry a few times. Wait, that's embarrassing, NO, I didn't cry!
To phrase this the way the main character, Mark Watney, might say it: “Hell yeah this was a great story; a f**king great story.”
I’m glad I was finally able to enjoy this story, and I am glad I did the audible version. I am a huge fan of “Realistic SciFi” and this fits the bill!! I know many people got bogged down with all the “math” in this story, so listening to the Audible version helps, you can just half listen to some of that. I don’t know how many hours Andy Weir spent working out all these scenarios but it must have been a lot, but I’m sure he enjoyed it. Then the narrator, R.C. Bray, WOW, he did a great job. I bet he’s got almost as many voices than Rich Little! It really helps immerse you into the story. Sure, the females sounded a bit like Alec Baldwin, but I liked that in a strange sort of way :)
I listened to most of this on a 1,200 mile trip to Florida. Once we reached the point where it started to get warm, we discovered our AC wasn’t working. When the kids started to complain I wanted to tell them: “After what Mark Watney had to endure on his trip to Schiaparelli I don’t want to hear you f**cken whine about a little AC problem.” Of course I didn’t (I don’t normally even cuss myself) but I did turn on the 70’s station and made them listen to disco the rest of the way! You'll get why what's funny when you read or listen to the book.
Andy Weir has many great one liners; probably the best is “Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped!”
Fair warning – you must be grown up enough to handle a fair amount of cuss words, and the F-bomb a lot, but the story is great, and the narration is awesome!! The ending is classic!
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
This book is a lot of fun. Weir seems to have done a ridiculous amount of research into how a manned NASA Mars mission would probably work, and turns this knowledge into a suspenseful adventure with a likable protagonist and a healthy dose of humor. The story begins, in classic castaway fashion, from the journal entries of an astronaut named Mark Watney, who’s stranded on Mars after an emergency forces the rest of his fellow astronauts, who think him dead, to abort the mission and depart.
Now alone with his expedition’s equipment, including rovers, space suits, a habitat, and some botany experiments (but no radio), Watney must improvise ways to stay alive and contact Earth. A lot of science and engineering geekery soon follows, but Weir does such a good job of explaining it, using Watney’s informal voice and snarky, quip-ready “engineer” humor (the opening f-bomb sets the tone), that I don’t think it will be too hard for the average reader to understand. Being an engineer myself, I could easily relate to how this guy’s mind worked, as he took apart different systems and put them to use in ways they weren’t quite meant to be used, yet did so in a careful, controlled manner. I had one of many smiles at the part where he contemplates international law and decides that one of his actions makes him a pirate. A SPACE PIRATE! Yep, engineer.
I don’t think it’s much a reveal to say that the narrative eventually expands to include people back on Earth. If you recall the movie Apollo 13, a lot of similar action follows, as NASA and other organizations put their best minds to work on the problem of how to save Watney. I won't spoil the series of mishaps, setbacks, and narrow escapes that follow as he hangs on for a rescue attempt, but suffice to say that Weir makes good use of his setting and contrives some creative but plausible solutions. The supporting characters could have been developed a little more, but their banter is entertaining. Weir is clearly a fan of NASA, but isn't above poking fun at bureaucracy, PR machines, and the various personalities that inhabit the organization.
I hope someone sees fit to make a movie, because all the right ingredients are here. There’s a crowd-pleasing survival story and a likable hero. There’s a long-shot plan and a big-screen-ready nail-biter of a climax. And it's a heckuva a lot more believable than other Mars-themed stuff that Hollywood has given us (I'm looking at you, Red Planet). But, if there’s never a film, audiobook narrator RC Bray is the next best thing, with a boyish voice that's a perfect fit for Watney, and different affectations for his various quips.
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.
Andy Weir's The Martian is a pure gem of a listen. Mark Watney, an astronaut who is part of an early Mars mission has been left for dead as his crew-mates were forced to abort their mission. Mark however has survived that initial catastrophe and is forced to go "Robinson Crusoe" to survive on a world intent on his demise. Eventually, NASA figures out that Watney is still kicking, but there is little they can do to assist. Watney battles the odds and works his way through one creative solution after another to survive and escape his potential fate as the first human casualty on Mars.
The time frame is the near future with little or no "new" science. The tale can become a bit "geeky" with explanations and calculations, but that is a major appeal of the story. Weir succeeds in crafting a believable series of events that create dramatic tension that ebbs and flows from start to finish. Watney is never out of the woods (or craters), but every new situations just comes out of nowhere. All along, Watney's composure and humor makes for an endearing character as he relates his experiences in a diary fashion. The supporting cast of Earth-side NASA personnel and Watney's Mars crew-mates are realistically portrayed with banter that comes off as genuine.
The narration is simply outstanding with an excellent range of voices and a tone that matches the tension inherent throughout the story. This will be a quick listen as the writing stye and delivery make for a can't put down quality.
I've listened to this audiobook several times. There is so much going in this story, I can turn it on at any point, and just listen for hours.
Left for dead when his crew is forced to suddenly abort the mission, astronaut Mark Watley pits his formidable intelligence against everything the red planet throws at him.
Plenty of hard science for those like me who regularly read science fiction, but really, it doesn't matter if you're not used to reading science fiction. The characters usually explain what's happening.
The audiobook contains quite a lot of humor, and the narrator handles it beautifully. Very well done!
I have over 450 books in my Audible library, and this book is one of my top 10 reads of all time.
But if you don't like profanity, please don't buy the book, you wouldn't enjoy it.
So freakin' listen to it already!!!
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.
Just plain fun
A log entry that starts "Well I killed myself today"
You truly believe Mark is reading you his journal from the ordeal.
This book caused numerous fits of laughter and never ending smiles. A great book, Out of hundreds of books in my library this is one of the best.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, A hoper, a pray-er, a magic-bean buyer. If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
This book is phenomenal -- a dry wit, coupled with great suspense and really awesome science! This is good, solid sci fi, not pulp space opera. A must read for any lovers of space, or those who appreciate science humour!
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
It has been a long time since I read a science fiction novel like this one: extremely detailed, extremely technical problem solving in a realistic near-future setting. The plot is ultimately straightforward: A lone astronaut needs to use his brains and his equipment to solve various realistic environmental and technical challenges on Mars; the fun comes from seeing how he does it. This is exactly the sort of thing that was the bread-and-butter of old school SF (think Asimov, Forward, Benford, and all of the other scientists-turned-writers of science fiction), and, it made me realize how rare this sort of novel is now, to the detriment of science fiction in general.
Now, to be fair, The Martian has some of the disadvantages of these sorts of books: the characters are engaging, but rather two-dimensional; the technical infodumps include huge amounts of information delivered in the "as you know..." style; and the thrill is in the problem solving, not the plot. Weir, however, has succeeded in mitigating some of these issues by being able to write genuinely funny and engaging prose about air reclaimers and relative pressure levels, which helps make everything much more enjoyable and listenable. And the reader is generally good, except for his German accent, which has to be the worst single accent I have heard on Audible (fortunately, the German character is a minor one!)
So, for those missing science in their science fiction, or who love problem-solving with duct tape, this is a no brainer. Others may find the technical details less interesting, and therefore the novel less fun. I was happy to stumble across it, and found it a wonderful listen that was more than the sum of its parts.
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. :)
"Best audiobook I've listened to"
Right at the top! Its got everything I want, science, space, not too many characters and I dont want to stop listening to it
The isolation of the main character - its what I look for in a horror movie. The no hope situation he is in.
Mark, certainly as he is the main character, but also Mitch(?) the guy at NASA that no one likes but the one who forces a certain rescue mission
The moment one of the crew members coming home received an image that they could not open.
Brilliant story and great narrator
"Exhilarating adventure. Brilliantly executed."
This story is just fabulous. The hero is one of the most engaging characters I have read for a long time. He is stranded alone in one of the most inhospitable environments imaginable and yet you could still believe he is capable of pulling this off. This is from a mixture of determination, brilliance and an amazing sense of humour. There is masses of technical information but this didn't put me off. Instead it served to illustrate the hostility and utter strangeness of Mars. I also got a real sense of the fact that it is actually rather a long distance from Earth and probably not that easy to colonise. Perhaps we should take better care of our own planet instead.
I loved this book and the narrator was perfect. I understand a film is being made and I will go and see it but I do think this audible version will be a hard act to follow.
"A thrilling and funny listen"
This is an excellent science fiction thriller, which steadily works to build up your empathy with the main character, aided by some laugh out loud commentary.
I usually prefer the more fantastical end of the genre (IMB's Culture novels for example), but the totally believable scenario and the use of mathematics to describe Watney's trials and tribulations are conveyed extremely well by the author.
The narrator does a great job of delivering the humour and helping to make the mathematics at the heart of Watney's plight accessible.
I very much look forward to future books from the author.
"The Best Hard SF Adventure I've read (or heard)"
Apollo13 RobinsonCrusoe Macgyver
Of course the protagonist Watney has to be everyone's favourite as 90% of the story is about him. I loved his smart-ass sense of humour and the way he explained why he was doing something without making it sound like a physics or chemistry lecture. However almost al the supporting characters were so well fleshed out and it is obvious the protagonist will be everyone's favourite character, the question should be who was your favourite supporting character? There I would have a tough time as Weir really put a lot of depth into the other characters but Kapoor would probably edge out to the top, with a special mention for Lewis for her 70s fascination which allowed Watney to comment on episodes of 70s TV shows I grew up with.
I enjoyed all of Bray's characters, he did fantastic voices for everyone and I felt like I was watching a movie with my eyes closed half the time. He got Watney's smart-ass style spot on but again all the supporting characters right down to the bit parts were perfectly executed. I'll be looking for other books read by him.
Absolutely a "can't hit pause" book. I took it with me everywhere in order to finish it more quickly.
This is the first substantial audiobook I've listened to right to the end and Bray's reading of it really made the book for me. I'll buy the kindle book now and read it myself but I'm going to be hearing Bray's voices in my head all along. If you have never listened to an audiobook before and you like stories of space travel and overcoming adversity then you can't go wrong with this book.
"Left me stranded"
This book began well, but rapidly declined around halfway through, to the extent that I gave up on it. The main character was engaging and well defined, but the more other characters were introduced, the more heavily they tended towards rather tired stereotypes, and the plot and dialogue towards cliche.
The performance was fine, but not enough to save the experience for me.
This is a book that actually credits the reader with a little intelligence - which makes a really nice change from the majority of Sci-Fi I've read lately. Theres some technical discussion - if you're the type of person who likes the Discovery channel it's nothing too challenging - but it's important to the story line, its not there just for 'bulk'. The story makes sense, there's no gaping plot holes and I found the main character to be likeable and believable.
I'd compare this to early Larry Niven stuff like Ringworld or Neutron Star - he's another author that knows how much actual science to put into sci-fi
Bray manages to bring a separate voice to each character, and in general he does it well. His German and Chinese are a bit ropey, but nothing that spoils the book. He's clear, concise, and puts just the right amount of......'animation' into his reading.
Tom Hanks - This Time He's Cast Further Away.
The name of one of the vehicles in the book just made me think of 'Top Gear' every time it was mentioned. If you've seen the TV episode with the home made electric car, I'm sure you'll pick it up !
"Mars like you were there"
Probably #1. Seriously, loved this book. It's smart, full of humour, paced and doesn't need a big antagonist to build up suspense (who needs one when you have a whole planet trying to kill your hero?)...
Because the premise is treated realistically, the situations Mark Watney finds himself in are all very original and memorable, but the initial survival plan, the airlock incident and the last recovery come to mind.
Mark Watney, the main character. R.C. Bray brings to life his wits, his humour, his resourcefulness with talent.
I could have "binge-listened" it easily, but the very nature of the book, Watney making plans and adjusting them when things go wrong, work better with listening to it in episodes.
"good old fasioned scifi"
The Martian was a great book. A proper hard-core science fiction book with lots of good science and none of the emotional fluff that litters far too much other science fiction. The main character does seem to be the most unlucky guy in the world and makes the best of this bad luck and keeps the humour up. The narration was very good and clear.
"Gripping, fascinating, and quite hilarious!"
It plays out like a Hollywood blockbuster, delivered in such a compelling way with the mix of log entries from Watney's perspective and the narration of life back on Earth.
I was fascinated by the complex details and chemistry of Watney's fight to survive, which far from being boring and technical, made the extreme measures he takes much more believable.
But the best bit is the humour! Combined with Bray's perfect delivery, Mark Watney is the funniest man on...well, Mars. But you get my drift.
The only reason I've withheld one star is that it lacked a little depth. Ok, so we're told Watney is a funny guy, but faced with being the only man on the planet, and never seeing Earth again, perhaps a little more introspection may have made him a more rounded character. Does Mark Watney have a family back on Earth? Does he even have friends? Or parents? He never mentions his life on Earth at all, which given how often he contemplates never getting off Mars, you'd think he might. A little "Z for Zachariah", "I am Legend" contemplation might have provided some realistic depth, but I guess staring death in the face isn't so funny.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and was sorry, but satisfied, when I reached the end.
"Amazing, Technical, Funny"
The attention to detail in terms of the technology, the environment and how he dealt with it. Obviously some good research was done to try write about surviving on Mars. I love realistic, technical books. It might be a bit overwhelming for some, but the character's personality makes up for it.
Mark Watney, great character brought to life by RC Bray. Lots of funny comments mixed in with the technical jargon to lighten it. But sounds typical of the man on the front dealing with the engineers/scientists back home.
A story of one man's survival in the most inhospitable place...Mars.
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