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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

  • Winner: 2015 Audie Award for Science Fiction
"The Martian is a crackling, often humorous, listen." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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LOOK BOOBIES

DAMN IT JIM, I'M A BOTANIST
Lots and lots of science. Lots and Lots of funny. MacGyver on Mars. I Love Clarke, but even he could not write this well. He would be proud. Who'd Thunk, talking about Night Soil, Math, Chemistry, Biology, and so much more could be so entertaining. Get this book for your teenagers and they will be inspired. Give it to your friends and they will be entertained.

R.C. Bray just jumped to the top of every bodies favorite narrator list.

YES, OF COURSE DUCT TAPE WORKS IN A NEAR-VACUUM. DUCT TAPE WORKS ANYWHERE! DUCT TAPE IS MAGIC AND SHOULD BE WORSHIPED!!

162 of 178 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 10-18-13

Potatoes, anyone?

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!

148 of 176 people found this review helpful

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Macgyver on Mars

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.

271 of 328 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas
  • Colorado, USA
  • 06-10-13

One of my freakin' favorites!

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!!!

242 of 294 people found this review helpful

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Potty-mouthed astronaut with an attitude. Love 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.

57 of 72 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 06-08-13

21st century castaway adventure... with SCIENCE!

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.

146 of 187 people found this review helpful

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Unexpectedly Enjoyable

If you could sum up The Martian in three words, what would they be?

Just plain fun

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Martian?

A log entry that starts "Well I killed myself today"

What about R. C. Bray’s performance did you like?

You truly believe Mark is reading you his journal from the ordeal.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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.

78 of 106 people found this review helpful

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Great old school SF, with the stress on science

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.

87 of 119 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 08-10-15

Very enjoyable science based adventure

Normally I would not write a review for a book with so many 5 star reviews already in place, but I had never heard of this book, and I would like to point it out to anyone who reads my reviews. The story is consistently engaging both because of the man marooned on Mars situation and because the first person narrative is a wonderful blend of desperation, temporary triumphs and, above all, self deprecating humor. The book is extremely well read, the perfect voice for the central character, and there are really no places in which the momentum sags. The bonus, for people who love science and engineering, is that the the entire thing is scientifically detailed without ending up sounding like a text book or lecture. I am stingy with 5 star ratings, but this book does what it sets out to do with terrific skill and I recommend it very highly.

44 of 60 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew
  • SEATTLE, WA, United States
  • 05-15-13

The Martian is a performer par excellence!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If my friends did listen to BOT, I would. A remarkable performance, and well worth the investment of resources, esp. your time and attention.

What did you like best about this story?

The performance of R.C.Bray is truly stellar.( pun intended)

What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

43 of 59 people found this review helpful

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  • Robyn
  • 05-25-14

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.

32 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Kaggy
  • 08-30-14

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.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert Wheatley
  • 05-28-13

Great 'read'

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.

47 of 50 people found this review helpful

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  • ALAN
  • 09-05-13

Amazing

What made the experience of listening to The Martian the most enjoyable?

The dry humour of the sol logs by Mark & the performance by Bray. He read it so well.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mark, he remained so positive during his time on Mars.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

When NASA realised he was going to fetch Pathfinder to re-establish communication.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed right throughout the book. Such brilliant dry humour at times making light of a serious situation. Was not expecting it.

Any additional comments?

This is the best Audible book I've downloaded to date.

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr C D Gillett
  • 08-27-13

Fantastic read, best I've heard in ages.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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. <br/>I was terrified that there might be a lame ending but Andy Weir did a great job there too. <br/>For me this will be my 'go to' book for recommendations for a while.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

No spoilers.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Live another Sol. Read the book, it'll make sense.

Any additional comments?

The only flaw is the laughable German accent the narrator tries. I can't criticise though as it amused me so much. <br/>If from the reviews and blurb you are even slightly tempted by this then do yourself a favour and read it. <br/>I'm off to eat a potato.

29 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • andrea
  • 05-11-13

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.

43 of 50 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-01-13

probably the best book i listened to

Where does The Martian rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

this book is great from the very begging right through to the end .

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

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

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 06-27-13

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.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • kath
  • 01-30-14

Fantastic.

Any additional comments?

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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. P. S. Gale
  • 06-14-13

Fantastic listen

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.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Anthony
  • 03-19-14

Unique, Funny, Genuine.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Only for sci-fi fans. It gets pretty technical at times. Nevertheless, I'm no astronaut but I was thoroughly convinced by the science in this book. Laugh out loud funny at times.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Martian?

Well geez...I don't want to give anything away. There are some classic one liners.

What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Truly incredible. Hard to believe it was one person at times. His timing was impeccable. At times I was sitting on the edge of my seat due t the tension. I don't think it would've been the same experience if I read the book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I don't have that kind of concentration but yes, I think it is suited to this style of listening. It would be perfect for drive from Sydney to Brisbane.

Any additional comments?

Language is fairly coarse. Science is pretty technical. Kind of reminded me of the movie Gravity except on Mars. Weir has created a great character. Bravo.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 06-19-15

Gripping!

Be warned, once you press play prepare to give up your life for the next 10 or so hours.

A great mix of humour and drama. The jeopardy is compelling and the attention to detail on the writing is staggering.

The performance is well pitched as well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-27-14

non stop unexpected twists and turns

Would you consider the audio edition of The Martian to be better than the print version?

Have not read it.

What other book might you compare The Martian to, and why?

N/A

Which character – as performed by R. C. Bray – was your favourite?

The main character.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laugh mainly.

Any additional comments?

I have a 100+ books and it was up there in my top few. The narrator was outstanding as was the story.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacqui
  • 02-07-16

So entertaining!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There is a bit of science throughout the book, but I didn't mind as I have a small amount of knowledge so I could follow along without too much going over my head. Beyond that, though, the story is very enjoyable. Mark Watney is such a smartass and it is refreshing to hear some humour in an otherwise dim situation. RC Bray does an excellent job portraying Mark's character, which adds something extra to the book that you just wouldn't get from physically reading it.

If you aren't scared by a little bit of science, I highly recommend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee
  • 02-01-16

Great book, loved every minute

Just get it , it's a great listen. Very funny lots of laugh out load moments in an obviously tense story. Loved it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam
  • 01-03-16

Enjoyable Book - Great story & great narration

When I saw Matt Damon was the lead role for a movie that was based on a book I straight away checked out the preview audio and it lived up to its expectation. Gritty, humorous and suspenseful, if there is another book like this then I am going to get it. I have yet to watch the movie so I can't comment there but hey, most books are better than the movies based on them, perhaps that's due to our imagination often being more exciting. I hope you enjoy the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kitty
  • 12-12-15

Brilliant SciFi With emphasis on the Science!

Wonderfully written book, full of *ACTUAL* science with very few *gimmes*. AND delightful narrated by R.C. Bray, who, absolutely brings Whatney and Crew to life!

A must read for ages 13 (for the science, and love of STEM) and up; with a big Language Caveat: It' all appropriate; They hear worse on the bus (& at school); And the dude's trapped on Mars… What would you say???

Can't rate highly enough

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 10-10-15

Awesome

Very easy to listen to, extremely well read and the story is awesome. Worth it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lauren
  • 09-15-15

Listen to this now!!!

absolutely fantastic, everyone should listen to this book. exciting, funny, realistic and above all very human. this is the best book ive read in years.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • 08-29-15

Fantastic!!!

Just try and put this story down! As a non-scientist, I was worried that the technical nature of some areas might be too confusing. However, not only was it explained and written in a way that was easily understandable, it actually sounds entirely plausible. This made the story that much more enjoyable. Fantastic characters, great writing style and extremely enjoyable performance. A must have book in your library!

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