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
Yes, if they are interested in technology, and if they have a sense of humor.
The Log entries and the sarcastic dialog. BTW, all of the dialog was very well written.
Mark Watney, hands down.
I laughed out loud many times. I also came to care about him and many of the other characters.
It's probably in the top ten, and over the years, I've probably purchased about 400 or so.
I'm not entirely sure this IS comparable to anything. I suppose, if anything, it could be the bastard child of Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars and Packing For Mars by Mary Roach. Good (enough for fiction) science, a funny, interesting story, with a perfectly chosen narrator.
Not sure, but he does a fantastic job here!
If you've ever seen the movie Apollo 13, there's one scene where the engineers on Earth are sitting in a room when some people come in with cardboard boxes and dump them on the table and say "This is what they have on the spacecraft - make air scrubbers out of it." This book is essentially a longer version of that - problem solving your way off of a hostile planet. It is incredibly well done, and I've recommended it to everyone I've talked to lately.
This book was a wonderful read/listen. The characters are well written and the narrator brings them to life. The story combines all the elements of the best science fiction. The story is scientifically accurate, funny, thrilling. I found myself rooting for the main character out loud and I was happy teary eyed at the end. A terrific book that I would recommend to all but especially fans of classic science fiction.
I just really loved how this was different than other hard science fiction I've read. It's got plenty of humor and very human characters, while also seeming extremely well researched and realistic. The "Man vs Nature" plot doesn't get a lot of play anymore, and it was refreshing in this book.
I do have one complaint, and it's for the narrator. He did a really fantastic job as a really manly man, crew cut having air force kind of guy, but the character is a botanist engineer. I think the story would have worked better with a Wil Wheaton sort of narrator--a geek kind of guy.
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.
the performance/accents of the narrator were perfect. the story was easy to follow, the characters were entertaining, the "martian" was hysterical and writing was clear. definitely recommend if you want a light & fun book.
I’m not sure if this falls in the genre of Hard-Science Fiction, because I haven’t really read much of it, but i think it does. And this book is great. Its funny and clever, and very well written and extremely well thought out. RC Bray does a great job narrating and helping you get lost in the story. For someone that reads mostly fantasy and a bit of Science Fiction here and there, this was a wonderful treat.
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.
Sci-fi/Fantasy geek :)
I loved it! It was gripping, informative, and funny. I think it will make a great movie.
Definitely the many international accents performed by the reader. It was distracting in a good way. I found myself wondering if he'd coordinated with the author on who was what nationality, or just guessed.
The sense of humor :)
Well, they were all good, but I got a chuckle out of the timid Mars satellite lady. "Um...."
"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.
"21st Century Robinson Crusoe"
Very enjoyable listen, all positives, good story, narration & characters. Very believable plot that didn't seem so far from science now that it would be what I normally think of as science fiction, more a space adventure story. As others have suggested there are a reasonable amount of facts & figures throughout the story, if you just accept them as correct and don't feel the need to puzzle over whether they are or not, they don't get in the way of the story and add to the realistic feeling. Definitely an author I am going to look to for further reading in future.
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