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
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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Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
I previously read this book on my Kindle and was so excited to see it was out on audio. This is one of the most enjoyable reading/listening experiences ever. It is different from the more typical science fiction. It is actually science AND fiction, combined with lots of humor and suspense. For me, it has everything !
I was initially disturbed when I heard the narrator's voice and reading style. It did not seem to fit the Mark Watney I read about and knew. However, as the book progressed, I think Bray slid comfortably into the role and did a masterful job of capturing the personality of our hero. He certainly added to the listening pleasure.
This book contains lots of technical jargon and hard science, yet it was put into simple enough terms so that I could easily follow the gist of what was going on. I would think this story would appeal not only to sci-fi loving engineers but to anyone who enjoys contemporary, realistic science-based fiction which, unfortunately, can be difficult to find during this period of zombie and vampire mania. And did I mention the humor?
Very highly recommended!
If my friends did listen to BOT, I would. A remarkable performance, and well worth the investment of resources, esp. your time and attention.
The performance of R.C.Bray is truly stellar.( pun intended)
Man, does he! This may be the best audiobook performance I have ever heard. He OWNS Watney. I can see /hear/feel the character. An award winning performance without a shadow of a doubt.
Watney certainly made me laugh, out loud, for real, a number of times. He also teaches a wonderful lesson in the perservance of the human spirit against uncalculable odds, and does it with amazing humour and grace.
Sometimes verbose, sometimes in need of editing, sometimes abit technical, but always WONDERFUL. This is an outstanding effort, and the narration is superb. I HIGHLY recommend it to EVERYONE.
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.
I have always loved to read, and now I really enjoy listening to my books as well!!
Admittedly, The Martian was on and off my Wish List so many times!! I'd hear great things about it, then read the premise and think "not for me". It crossed my radar again recently, and I happened to see almost 4000 reviews with an average of 4+ stars--I took a chance.
And I loved it!! The story was great, original, and very well written. And the narration was perfect. I am truly not a science person, and the physics and chemistry were still going over my head a bit, but that aspect of the story was written well enough that I totally got the gist of what was going on, even if I couldn't pass a test on it by the end :)
I am very glad I chose to listen to this book. It could have been boring and scientific, but was in fact entertaining and fun. I highly recommend to all--
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
I loved this book. I went to local library to get hard copy for my son who loves science and found that there was over 100 people on waiting list. One reviewer said it was similar to McGyver on Mars (TV series we loved), and it is. Besides the science part, the dialogue was great. Sure there are some swears (nothing as a parent we have never heard before), and not that I would condone swearing, but If I was in place of major character I am sure I would say the exactly the same as my Mars vehicle flipped over. As good as Hunger Games. 100% positive rating from me.
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
This was a fantastic read that I found hard to put down. The science was so interesting and exciting, never a dull moment. The main character was brilliant and engineered some of the most ingenious life saving devices. This book never got slow and I could not wait to see what he would come up with next. The storyline had an excellent flow and showed the strength and bravery of the human spirit. R.C. Bray did an outstanding job with the narration and I look forward to reading something else that he has done.
I'm a technician that does a lot of driving for his job. I use the "windshield" time to listen to audiobooks.
The only reason I didn't give it 100 out of a 100, is that no novel is perfect, but this is one of the best novels I've read/listened to in a long, long, long, long, time. The story is great, the narration is excellent. I don't know how one improves this story. I was telling some friends that it's basically Cast Away (the 2000 movie with Tom Hanks) but it takes place on Mars, and it might be better. It's really good. If you don't believe me look at the average rating of the book. That's how good it is.
So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.
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 a thoroughly entertaining, funny survival adventure sure to please NASA geeks & space nerds (like myself). The author certainly seems to have done his homework, presenting the science in a compelling and authentic way. The protagonist's irrepressible sense of humor keeps things light and upbeat (though be warned, as should be obvious from the description, there are F-bombs aplenty).
If you enjoyed the genius problem solving on display in Apollo 13, you'll get lots more of it here (this time it's fictional, but still plausible and often fiendishly clever). As you go along, you'll start wondering what will go wrong next, and how our unflappable hero will get out alive.
The narrator, R.C. Bray, does a terrific job of capturing the irreverent tone of Mark Watney's log entries, though frankly not quite as well with the scenes and characters on Earth. Some of his accents feel wrong (or even a bit caricature-ish) in places, and every time he pronounced ASCII as "A-S-C-two" I flinched a little. But these are minor complaints. The Kindle version is super cheap, so I was able to read large chunks in "print" form, which enhanced the experience (Huzzah, Whispersync for Voice!).
"Incredibly technical, don't let that put you off"
Wow - a really great novel. I found it very difficult at first and almost gave up due to some of the very technical details that are a major part of the story. However, these details soon formed the important backdrop to the delivery of the novel. I probably only understood 10% or so as I'm not an engineer or scientist - but it didn't matter at all. I was caught up in the tense, almost impossible situation that the main character found himself in. I was gripped within a few chapters, especially when other characters were introduced, and ended up spending my Saturday afternoon in the grip of this ultimate survival tale.
This is how audiobooks should be done. The performance was spot-on. I've abandoned so many books of late because of annoying performances, but Bray nails this one. Between him and the book, I really enjoyed this. Not sure if it was the content or the delivery or a combination that truly did it for me, no matter which, they were well suited.
The dry humour of the sol logs by Mark & the performance by Bray. He read it so well.
Mark, he remained so positive during his time on Mars.
When NASA realised he was going to fetch Pathfinder to re-establish communication.
I laughed right throughout the book. Such brilliant dry humour at times making light of a serious situation. Was not expecting it.
This is the best Audible book I've downloaded to date.
"Fantastic read, best I've heard in ages."
Unequivocally. The story is well conceived, fast paced and very well edited. It starts with a bang and gets right into it. There is a lot of science at first but it is of the sort that if you follow it, fantastic, if you don't, then it isn't going to detract from the plot. Just as it looks like it might get a bit samey the author mixes it up (no spoilers) and keeps things fresh.
I was terrified that there might be a lame ending but Andy Weir did a great job there too.
For me this will be my 'go to' book for recommendations for a while.
The idea, the character, and the nice way the author has taken what is probably classed as a sci-fi but made it all entirely plausible and reads more like a tense ?drama or 'action diary'. I love sci-fi and space operas so I was delighted.
Live another Sol. Read the book, it'll make sense.
The only flaw is the laughable German accent the narrator tries. I can't criticise though as it amused me so much.
If from the reviews and blurb you are even slightly tempted by this then do yourself a favour and read it.
I'm off to eat a potato.
"probably the best book i listened to"
this book is great from the very begging right through to the end .
Mark Watney is really the only character in the book, he is very well written with great humour and whit in the face of death.
this guy really was an execellent choice for this book, i think he nailed Mark Watney. he also sounds very much like the US comedian Rich Hall, and has his dry whit, that really suits the writing style
There is to many good parts it would be unfair to choose one. however this is one of the only book that has totally pulled me into the story and actually made my pulse raise.
i cant take credit for this, another reviewer i read said; "a cross between Apollo 13 and castaway, with a little space balls thrown in". sums it up to a Tee.
"Compelling and brilliantly researched."
I have already recommended this book to every space nerd I know (that's a lot of people). Not only is it exciting, funny and totally believable but it really puts you right with the character and his daily battle against a planet that desperately wants to kill him.
What I liked best about the story was how it managed to lurch from one crisis to another without getting tiresome. The descriptions of the daily chores of surviving on another planet with not even the bare minimum of equipment and food are far more gripping than they ought to be. At it's best it is an amazing character study of a man fighting against despair and certain death with just his wits, good luck, training, humour and optimism. The Martian is never less than utterly compelling.
"A five star pleasure (and one or two planets)"
I realize I am going to repeat what others have already said here - however...
I enjoyed this audio-book as much as any other I've listened to, and more than most.
Initially, twenty minutes in, I was starting to wonder if the whole thing was a series of technical solutions to some challenging problems. It DOES have a lot of detailed commentary about what the protagonist is up to - but it is delivered with humor - both by the author and the narrator and has direct relevance to what is happening.
The story soon expands into a gripping tale that had me laughing one minute and on the edge of my seat the next.
The narration by Mr. Bray was excellent - intonation perfectly reflecting the dialogue, story and characters. Ok - perhaps the German accent was a little dodgy in places - but it was certainly good enough to consistently identify one of the characters.
The story would make a great film - but I expect if Hollywood actually did their paws on it the project it would suffer.
Well done Andy Weir.
"A brilliant listen"
Great concept, largely well executed, I would be surprised (and disappointed) if Hollywood doesn't snap this up.
This has to be one of the best audiobooks I have listened to, I enjoyed it from start to finish. It's a modern take on a golden age sci-fi staple - "the stranded spaceman" but the contemporary referencing and modern pace is so well done it feels fresh and well conceived.
Its not often I have a book I think I have to "spread the word" about but this is an exception, Audible's return guarantee means you won't lose anything by giving this a go but personally it grabbed me within the first 5 minutes and my only disappointment was how short it felt; I would have happily had an extra couple of hours of this.
Generally I tend to go for the more action-oriented sci-fi but Mars is a hip planet so I thought I'd give this a go. So glad I did. It's heavy on the technical side but the story moves along rapidly and dialogue and realism are top notch. It reminded me a little of Joe Simpson in space. Not literally, he'd be useless up there, but a similar vibe to Simpson's 'Touching the Void' detailing his battle for survival against impossible odds far from civilisation. Gripping stuff. And the narrator deserves a mention too - an impeccable delivery.
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