2015 Audie Award WINNER, Science Fiction
2015 Audie Award Finalist, Solo Narration: Male
2014 Voice Arts Award Finalist, Science Fiction
"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
"The Martian is a crackling, often humorous, listen." (AudioFile)
or, to some, Engineering Porn. There aren't many thrillers that use this much mostly plausible science and engineering. Like so many books, the ending, while appropriate, felt a bit rushed and less complete than the earlier shenanigans
R.C. Bray is perfect. More than any recent audiobook I can remember, he WAS the main character, Mark Watney, stranded on Mars yet cracking wise in the most dire of straits.
Sci-fi, History, Police Procedurals and Science
It is hard to review this book without giving it away. So here goes the slightly vague review.......This is near future, NASA-loving, science-driven fun. It is not deep or entirely unpredictable -- but it sure was a good time. Someone said MacGyver in space. True, if he had a doctorate in engineering and biology. I would guess the author thought about this for a long time before writing it.
In many books you think: "Oh, for Pete's Sake -- that's impossible." Not here -- the author shows you the math for solving every problem -- and there are a lot of very interesting problems. And as a side-bonus, you get a real up-close and personal travel experience on Mars.
The wry sense of humor is a little like Redshirts. Good narration too.
Loved the book. Anyone who is a fan of physics, chemistry, or just science in general will enjoy this. My only gripe is the last chapter ends too abruptly for me but I really enjoyed the book.
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.
This is science fiction with an emphasis on the science and it often feels like you are experiencing the events as they would unfold on the evening news. Andy Weir and R. C. Bray team up in fine fashion to bring the character of astronaut Mark Watney to life in a very realistic way. Mark is an engineer, a botanist, and the junior member of the 6 person crew that forms the Ares 3 mission to Mars.
At the very start of the book Mark awakens to find that he has been left behind on Mars after the rest of the crew conducted an emergency evacuation with him presumed dead. Completely alone on the red planet, Mark must face the reality that the odds are severely stacked against him and he likely will be the first human being to die on Mars. He has a limited amount of food and water, no way to communicate his plight to NASA, and no hope of rescue as the next planned mission to Mars is years away.
However, it is not in Mark's nature to give up and he uses all of his scientific and engineering skills to slowly but surely extend his life expectancy. He dictates his decisions and progress in a series of log entries just in case anyone is ever able to recover it in the future. Some of the entries can be pretty dry and full of tedious calculations but the majority of them are witty and contain amusing observations. This very human side of Mark is what makes the book so good and you can't help but form a bond with him and root for him to find yet another solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem.
The book also presents a secondary view of events from the perspective of those back on earth. NASA does have satellites in orbit of Mars and they eventually do figure out that Watney is alive which takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride. Watney’s plight becomes a global phenomenon and the biggest news story in the history of the world with NASA at the center of it.
For me this one falls at 4.5 stars overall simply because the details provided to support the science and the math can be a bit boring at times and will likely be a turnoff for certain listeners; however, I assure you that it is worth looking past that and getting to know Mark Watney - astronaut, botanist, and space pirate.
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The narration and main character make nerds and maths cool!
The beginning sets the vibe for the rest of the story and doesn't disappoint!
Without Bray's voice I could easily imagine the character as being some little maths geek who would give up the struggle for survival
I will looking for new books from this author and definitely will give any book narrated by Bray a priority
I am a layman who understood maybe 1/10 of the technical stuff in this book at best, yet I still enjoyed it. I was overwhelmingly impressed by the mechanics of the story, how each problem the protagonist faced on mars got solved. initially, I thought the frequent curse words detracted from the story, but it fits the character and the situation. If you're writing a journal and you think you're going to die, you're not going to say 'darn.' Aside from the story being quite outstanding, the narration is flawless.
You've been warned. You'll drink coffee in excess, drive around the block a few times, take the long way home; the story is that good, the performance is that good. I was literally walking around laughing at times and choked at others. Andy writes with great imagination wit, and creativity. You are there with Mark Watney, the crew, NASA and everyone else the whole ride. I hope he writes another book.
Many instances. In the actual book mostly the humour. In the audiobook mainly the story.
Mark "The Martian" Watney.
Life Found on Mars!
I gave five stars for the story and four for the narration. The voice is right for the main character, but humour played a good part in the book and the narrator very often seems to just talk over some of the best lines. I can remember some laugh out loud moments when reading the book, but there are none in the audiobook.
The only one I have listened to so far.
The main character was easily my favorite because of his humor and sarcasm even in the face of grim circumstances.
R.C. Bray did am amazing job. He was expressive, sarcastic, humorous, and did accents effortlessly. There were several times he was switching between Indian, Chinese, and southern accents in one conversation. Impressive, Sir!!
I did listen to this all in one sitting. I was enthralled.
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.
"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.
"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.
What a fantastic book. As some other reviewers have mentioned it is quite technical throughout, but this doesn't detract from the story, it's very easy to follow. I couldn't stop listening. The narration is brilliant and the characters are engaging and likeable, none more so than the stranded Mark Whatney who is absolutely hilarious. The last 40-50 minutes of the story are so tense and compelling you might have to put your life on hold until it's finished. An utter gem of a story, wonderfully performed....Brilliant.
"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.
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.
"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.
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.
"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.
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