April 4, 2015

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Book Cover
The Martian
Andy Weir
Published: Podium Publishing
Date: 2012
Format: Audiobook
Length: 10hrs 53min
Narrator: R. C. Bray
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Own book
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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 plain old "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?"
My thoughts banner
The Martian by Andy Weir, is so not what I normally read.  However with all the hype I decided to listen to the audiobook, and while I found some of the factual side a tad bit tedious, the book melded into a wonderful survival story.

Was it believable? Men living on Mars, you're joking right!  However those a tad tedious facts made it fully believable.  You're going to have to convince me now that something in the future just might not happen like this!  The details are very well researched.  The book in itself is a tribute to the author, who first published this in chapters on his blog, then on Amazon and finally picked up by a publisher. The power of the internet and modern reading.

What did I like?  I loved the spirit and sense of living one day at a time by Mark Watene.  Try living by yourself for a week or two with no human contact in any way.  Hard - right?  Imagine being on Mars with no one and the need to survive or plan your own humane death.  I loved the sense of loneliness, yet the spirit of Mark to keep on, keeping on.  That message is a positive one, and challenges each of us to live the the best each day.  I was inspired anyway.

I also liked once the story moved out into the halls of NASA and the space craft that left Mark behind, through no fault of their own.  Characters like Mindy, Venkat, Mitch added such interest.  I loved the tough humour, many lines by Mark Watene were filled with humour - one of the many I smiled at - "I am the first man to have his piss turned into  rocket fuel". Or something along that line, can't remember exactly.

Was the narrator any good?  You bet.  Loved the narrator, in one way he sounded like Watene, yet the voices for the other characters were very well done.  My favourite for others  was Venkat!   

Will I go and see the movie?  As soon as The Martian is showing in my part of the world, I'll be an early viewer, and I am not a movie goer on the whole!
5 stars


14 comments:

  1. Glad you loved this despite the technical info. I'm going to add this to my To Read list. It is interesting that it started out as chapters on the Internet. Great review Kathryn.

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    1. Yeah the tech jargon went over my head, but the humour and sheer will to live of Watene, so made this book great.

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  2. I really like the way you wrote this as a series of questions with answers. Can I steal that idea sometime?
    This doesn't appeal to me by the title, cover, or blurb, BUT so many people are saying the same thing and then loving it that I may give it a try. At least, I'll TBR it so I don't forget.

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    1. Elizabeth questions in reviews did not originate with me! This one just seemed to lend itself to this format because I was talking away in my head! Look forward to reading one of yours sometime like this.
      I am not sure if I would have liked it as much reading it, but the audio just gave it that boost for me to enjoy it.

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  3. I am not a reader of this type of book either, but I loved this book!! It didn't hurt that I was a space geek when I was a pre-teen (the moon landing was the summer I turned eleven), so I could even handle the technical stuff. I cannot wait for the movie (and I'm not much of a movie goer either).

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    1. We sound similar! Yeah, I remember the moon landing too. Sooo.... long ago! Roll on the movie, really looking forward to it.

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  4. I was interested until other bloggers said something to the effect that it got bogged down in dense technical jargon. However....the whole premise of the plot has me so intrigued that I really think I will picking this up soon if I can find it at the library or borrow it. Thank you.

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    1. It has such a bizarre premise, but it really worked will, it had me believing!

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  5. Glad that you liked it. My husband has this book so I am sure I will read it one day.

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    1. I hope he enjoys it as much as I did.

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  6. I'm so glad you liked it. Now I will move it up on my listening list. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I wasn't sure whether it still hit the mark for you but after seeing your rating, I'm putting all doubts aside lol. Moving it back up the listening list. Thanks Kathryn :)

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  8. Like you, this is sooo not my kinda red. But it definitely is hyped a lot. I might pick it up one day, but If I did so at this time, I doubt I'd ever read it. I might watch the movie, though. Glad you enjoyed it and that the factual side made it believeable. I can't imagine being stranded on a planet all by yourself. So lonely. </3

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  9. I read this for a reading challenge as well, not my typical read! I skimmed over alot of the technical/science-y stuff because usually there was a summary later on ("so basically, I'm screwed" or "so it's not as bad as I thought") Haha.

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