Published by Crown Publishing, Podium Publishing Genres: Adult SFF, Science fiction
Length: 10 hours, 53 minutes
Narrator: R.C. Bray
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*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
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?
I can’t believe I waited so long to read THE MARTIAN! But in a way I am glad I did because I was in the perfect mood for it and in dire need of its specific brand of humor! You wouldn’t think that a book about a lone astronaut being stranded on Mars for dead and having one catastrophe after another happen would be a humorous book, but it absolutely was. The grim situation and desolate setting mixed with the character’s personality and daily audio log made for one of the best reads I have ever had.
Though the situation is serious, Mark Watney kept me from being depressed about things with his crazy smart ass sense of humor. He is a botanist as well as a mechanical engineer and he puts both of those skills to extreme use. One of the things he devised to keep himself alive longer is growing his own food (potatoes, lots and lots of potatoes). But to do this he has to have fertile soil…and we all know farmland is fertalized with manure!
My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain is. – 5%
It’s these kinds of comments he makes into his daily log that had me laughing and totally loving his character. But then I am a total sucker for a character or book that can make me laugh. I think readers won’t be able to help falling in love with him.
All that technical scientific jargon is better in audio
Some readers might get turned off by all the science included in this book. But I really wasn’t. I think this was mostly due to me having lintended to the audio book. I also have the book in print and I found that I enjoyed the book so much more listening to it rather then reading it. Whenever Mark would break out with all the science and calculations they just flowed over me so easily when listening to them where as reading them wasn’t as smooth. Techies will love it I’m sure. So I recommend if you aren’t normally a science fiction reader and don’t like tetchy things or calculations etc then definitely listen to the audio book rather then reading the print. Plus the voice acting is superb.
At one point Mark explains sea and space maritime law, how they are alike etc and how all that works where property and salvage are concerned, it was rather entertaining and I didn’t get the point until at the end he says…so that makes me
I’m a pirate, a space pirate.
And then I promptly laughed my ass off.
This narrator WAS Mark Watney!
Have you ever listened to a book where you could tell that the narrator was enjoying the experience as much as you are? I could literally feel the narrator R.C. Brady’s enthusiasm while listening. He didn’t just read or narrate, he became Mark Watney. He made me fall in love with this character! He would shout, sing, groan…you name it and he added all of the pizazz to this audiobook that made it into one of my favorites. I will be pushing this on every friend I know who reads and even the ones who don’t.
Even tho I am stressing the humor aspect, this book wasn’t all laughs. It was also suspenseful and quite the adrenaline ride. Because think about it, he is stranded on Mars and any little glitch could cost him his life. One malfunction and he could be without some essential thing he needs to survive. Plus trying to figure out how to 1) communicate with Earth, 2) hopefully get rescued 3) have enough food and water to last til rescue and 4) not go insane from severe isolation. It was a big test of the human will and drive to survive.
While most of the book is told from Mark’s perspective we also get to see things from the perspective of several people on Earth that work for NASA. This extra scope really brings home the message of the book that not only is one person capable of extraordinary things but that people as a whole are as well.
THE MARTIAN was an amazing book and one that I look forward to reading again. And hey it’s going to be released on film in November 2015! Let’s hope Matt Damon can deliver a true Mark Watney!
*received a print copy for review from Blogging for Books but decided to purchase the audio instead