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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (sci-fi) - As the summary suggests, Mark Watney has been abandoned by his crew and left on the surface of Mars. Unbeknownst to them, he is only injured and very much still alive. Mark, who had been the mission's botanist, must now try to survive alone on Mars till help arrives...if it does. What follows is a fast-paced, fascinating tale of survival. He must deal with finding shelter, food, water and breathable air, among other things. He must try to establish communications with NASA and survive sand storms, etc.
Mark is one of my favorite characters EVER. He's brave and smart, even kinda geeky. He works tirelessly and doesn't give up on his situation, and then there's his sense of humor! He's always making fun of his colleagues, himself or his situation, and he's not afraid of saying exactly how he feels. The opening line of the book, when he discovers he's been left behind alone on Mars, is: "I am so f**ked!" I enjoyed his unabashed irreverence but the language flows freely in this book, so it may not be for everyone.
The story is never dull. You will hear how he modifies everything from its original purpose to one fit for survival. (He's quite an inventor). You will hear the various plans that NASA scientists formulate for his rescue and you will hear why they fall by the wayside or fail. Finally (and without giving too much away) you will hear how Mark attempts a treacherous excursion across the planet to attempt a rendezvous with those on a mission to save his life. Great suspense!
PERFORMANCE - He was so perfect for this job! His delivery of Mark's sarcasm and humor was spot on. He also did a great job with various foreign accents possessed by NASA employees and fellow astronauts.
OVERALL - No sex (duh, he's alone on Mars), and no violence. Quite a bit of F-bombs, as mentioned above. I would recommend this book for everyone except children, for obvious reasons. I don't give five stars out freely, but this book is special.
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.
You want me to take out both ear buds?
I've been having bad luck with books lately and am soooo glad I came across this one. I love the authors writing style. He is perfectly sarcastic at just the right time. He takes the whole survival thing to a new level by placing this poor shmuck on Mars and expanding on all the trials he must go through just to get outside. The narrator also performs very well and delivers the lines perfectly.
This is a great book and well worth the credit.
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!
What a great book! Suspense, humor, and great characters. I highly recommend it. I loved the main character's creative problem solving and dry wit. I am looking forward to future books by Andy Weir.
"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.
"Possibly the best SF audio book I have listened to"
Andy Weir, you are a genius, a comedian, a scientist, and a master of suspense, all in one single volume!
What a great book!
First off, to cover one or two other comments, yes, there is quite a bit of technical detail in this that you might think will put you off. Trust me, it doesn't. Weir is gentle with to the reader, giving information a NASA scientist would be happy with but at a level that my mother in law (not blessed in grey matter) could digest. Having said that, you don't feel patronised and you certainly get caught up in a gripping struggle for survival and will find yourself going on longer walks or just sitting in the car to hear the end of the next chapter.
This book is so full of surprises - and the humour is certainly one of them. In the middle of life and death decisions and cataclysms you find yourself laughing out loud, much to the disturbance of the general public around you.
If you like a good thriller and against all odds story, this one will keep you off the pause button until it's white knuckle end.
I'm almost jealous of you, dear unknowing reader, for the joy you have before you.
I will certainly be returning to Mars to relive this one very soon.
Great sci-fi quite technical which I love but doesn't get in the way I think.
Really good performance from R C Bray too, the characters were great.
Really kept me listening. Will be looking out for more from Weir.
"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.
"Another fun one."
A journal (logbook), written by the chap left behind? Yes, this could have been a bore - but it so wasn't!! The sheer tenacity of the man, plus his seemingly endless capacity for humour makes this a very enjoyable listen.
Even his repeated calculations didn't overly bore me, as they added to the anticipation (or dread). Couldn't help but root for him every step of the way.
I have no clue as to whether the scientific aspects / space stuff is realistic or not - it didn't matter to me - it just all added to the fun.
Excellent narration, and very well suited to the main character.
"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.
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.
"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.
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