Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Audiobook Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Genre: Sci Fi
Publication Date: 22nd March 2013

Narrator: R.C. Bray
Time: 10hrs 53mins
Book Source: Own audio

Synopsis: 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 & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& 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—& 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: 
Blogging friends began raving about The Martian many months ago and in excitement I purchased it on Audible, back in March. I trust these bloggers (hey I bought the book) but skepticism kicked in and as the hype increased I put off listening to it until last week. *kicks self* 

So that’s the situation. I’m stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth. Everyone thinks I’m dead. I’m in a Hab designed to last thirty-one days.
If the oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the water reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.
So yeah. I’m fucked.

The Martian was A-MAZING. Narrator R.C. Bray, deserves a high five, a medal, a raise ... absolutely brilliant narration. It's tense, emotional, snerk funny and a surprise favourite read this year. 

I don't think I'm known in blogging circles for my speedy reviews lol and yet here I am posting, literally minutes after finishing the audio #booyah

Astronaut and botanist Mark Watney is tenacious, resilient, resourceful, brave and kick-ass smart, all qualities you'd expect of an astronaut. What I really loved was his humour and sarcasm, he's a wise-cracking smart ass and I laughed out loud, many a time. Given the gravity of his situation you might think his quips would get old but he was chosen for the mission not just for his qualifications but for his easy going personality, so it worked. 

“My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain.” 

“I'm even going to electrolyze my urine. That'll make for a pleasant smell in the trailer.
If I survive this, I'll tell people I was pissing rocket fuel.” 

The Martian is scientifically technical and high school science/math was not my strong point so it surprised me how much I enjoyed all of it, even the stuff that went over my head was fascinating. The Q&A on Andy Weir's website regarding research and accuracy was really interesting.   

Mark's log entries, the narration from NASA, it felt believable and authentic, the characters likable. Mark's the King of Mars but I also loved Venkat, Mindy, Mitch and the Hermes crew. 

Log Entry: SOL 118

My conversation with NASA about the Water Reclaimer was boring and riddled with technical details. So I'll paraphrase for you:

Me: "This is obviously a clog. How about I take it apart and check the internal tubing?"

NASA: (After about 5 hours of deliberation) "No. You'll fuck it up and die."

So I took it apart.

I told NASA what I did. Our (paraphrased) conversation was: 
Me: “I took it apart, found the problem, and fixed it.” 
NASA: “Dick.” 

Log Entry: Sol 501 
I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. First, get some hot water, then add nothin’.

So how 'bout the conclusion. I may have stopped breathing and even teared up ... just a little bit. 

... now for the movie. 

How cool is it that astronauts on ISS watched The Martian movie in space. 

Check out this video of crew members from the International Space Station answering questions from the director and cast of  "The Martian".

Connect with Andy Weir


  1. I've got this downloaded and put off reading it thinking it was too sci fi! Have to start on it sooner rather than later after reading your post.

    1. Can't wait to hear what you think Mystica, I hope the book has the same hilarious apeal as the audio!

  2. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am OVER the MOON (or Mars!!! LOL!!) HAPPY that you loved this book!!! SERIOUSLY my all time fave book! His sarcasm and humor had me going to WHOLE time! LOL!! I even bought the paperback for Brian so he would read it and take me to the movie before he left the country! HA!!!

    1. hahaha Mars. I should have listened Julie ;) Mike isn't a huge reader but I said he has to read this, I think he'd love it too. And now I'm hoping we can get to to the movie this weekend, or next. Good planning squeezing it in before Brian left lol

  3. Replies
    1. me too Mary ... now I'll be the one raving, telling all my friends to read it lol

  4. Wow, love your your enthusiasm for this. Will have to see it! Soon perhaps. Not getting enough reading time of late.

    1. Mike and I hoping to see the movie this weekend Sherryl. Not sure it will hold up to the book but we'll see. Hope you get the chance too :)

  5. Laughing at the speedy review, it speaks of how much you were excited by the book. Like you I was very unsure going into it and only because I had to read a sci fi set in space for Book'd Out's reading challenge did I read it. Like you it became a top fav for the year. It was interesting to listen to AW and hear what was science fact and what he played around with. Also what has happened since the book came out that science has already changed. But who cares he sure gave us a ride. And that last blast off into space from Mars was just how I visualised it. Hope you love the movie too! I think I even want to go again!!

    1. lol go again, now that makes me worry less about the movie not holding up to the book. I've been watching youtube videos and I started following NASA on twitter haha I'm turning into a science nerd.

  6. Replies
    1. that's a bummer B, oh well different strokes for different folks and all that lol

  7. Finish the book you are listening to Nise' then you can listen to The Martian. I have to keep telling myself this, cause I want to ignore the poor book I am currently listening to and jump to this one!

  8. I'm happy you loved the audio! That narration really made the book for me, and that is SO cool that they are watching it in space! I really want to see the movie and haven't, yet. I've heard mixed things about it but since I loved the book and the movie trailer, I really want to see how the movie compares.

    1. that's what I was worried about too Kathy, but Kathryn from Book Date has read the book, seen the movie and would go again so I'm less concerned about it being a disappointment.

  9. My son recently purchased it for his kindle so I'll have to read it now!
    What a great review-- your enthusiasm is catching :) I hesitated picking it up because some reviewer somewhere said it got bogged down with technical descriptions and that turned me off, but apparently that's not so. I have similar taste in reading to you so I will definitely be giving it a go!

    1. yay Rita, we do have similar reading tastes so hopefully you'll be as surprised as I was. Maybe the audio lightened some of the technical jargon, it's there but wrapped up in Mark's wicked sense of humour, I found it palatable and I'm certainly no science geek lol

  10. OMG! We can squee together. I love that we both were so hesitant to start it and both loved it. Your review reminded me of how wonderful the book is - I think I'm going to have to do a relisten soon! *happy sigh*

    1. hahaha squueeeeee ... I'd happily relisten too and I virtually never do that with a book :))

  11. This makes me smile. I am grinning like a fool :) I am so happy you experienced the same kind of book high that I did.

    1. LOL I'm grinning reading your comment, now I'm one of those 'raving' people. I want every man and his dog to read it and love it :)

  12. We saw the movie but are still waiting for the audio from the library. It's like hundreds of other people wanted to read it too!

  13. Ok I have held off reading because I want to see the movie first. This is only because it's the only way the movie has a chance of me liking it. But now I really want to read this book!


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