About the Book:
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've already indicated that I was completely surprised that I enjoyed this book so much. But let me be clear, its simply because I don't typically read books about space, astronauts or anything science fiction related. I was totally out of my comfort zone here and I couldn't be happier that I took that leap. I did choose the audio version for those reasons and I'll get into that part of my review in a bit, but first, I need to talk about the story, writing and characters.
The story, to my own surprise, was brilliant. The concept of an astronaut left for dead on Mars and how he fights to not only survive but to get back to Earth was so original and fascinating that I was hooked from the very beginning. After reading some reviews, I was a little worried I would get tired of all the scientific jargon but that didn't happen with my experience. Maybe if I'd been reading the book version I might have skimmed over those parts but there were such great nuggets in those passages that I'm glad I didn't miss. The technical research that must've went into the writing of this book was enormous and Andy Weir gets major kudos for that alone.
I liked the way Weir presented this novel both as log entries and from a third party perspective for all of the other characters working to get Mark home. The story moved along so smoothly and without any lulls whatsoever for me. I was totally engaged from start to finish.
The characters were so diverse and each of their personalities were easily identifiable as I listened on. Of course, my favorite character was Mark Watney. What a character! Weir gave him such an great sense of humor and never-give-up attitude. I especially loved his snarkiness and funny way of explaining things when he wrote in his log entries. What I loved most was that he was able to make fun of himself. I laughed out loud many, many times while listening to this book and it was Mark's personality that made that happen.
This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite audiobooks I've ever listened to. Ever. I totally enjoyed the story, the characters and the narration was perfectly done by R.C. Bray. He brought this character to life in grand fashion and I loved his interpretation. Let me be clear, there is a lot of scientific terms laced throughout the book and if you think you'd get bogged down by it then I highly recommend the audio version. You will have a wonderful listening experience and hopefully you'll love it as much as I did.
THE BOTTOM LINE . . .
is that I was completely and totally entertained by this book. I'm also really looking forward to the film version due out next year. Ridley Scott is said to be directing and the word is that Matt Damon will be playing the role of Mark Watney. I think that's a great choice!
THE MARTIAN (Unabridged Audio Version)
Author: Andy Weir
Publisher: Podium Publishing
Published: March 23, 2014
Length: 10 hrs 53 mins
The Bottom Line: I LOVED IT!!!