The Martian - Andy Weir

The Martian

By Andy Weir

  • Release Date: 2014-02-11
  • Genre: Adventure
Score: 4.5
4.5
From 12,458 Ratings

Description

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

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?

Reviews

  • Flawed but Excellent

    4
    By Addi~
    “The Martian” is the inspiration for one of the finest science fiction movies—indeed, one of my favorite films—of all time. If you enjoy the movie, the novel will not disappoint. But the screenplay is a superb adaptation, the rare example of a film that improves upon its source material. The movie is more tightly written, with more robust and plausible human characters and (in my opinion) more coherently sequenced storytelling. However, know that it manages to be this by being smart about how it adapts and lightly augments the source material—many passages of dialogue are directly lifted nearly verbatim, with just enough buttressing context or polishes for clarity to make them soar. Not for nothing is it one of the few space movies famously nitpicky astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson wholeheartedly recommends. As for the book itself—well, the writing here is no masterpiece of prose, but you shouldn’t buy it for the writing. Buy it for the incomprehensible effort Weir put into setting up science puzzles for himself, and working them out through his characters with painstaking accuracy within an accessible story driven narrative. It’s a feat, one that more than deserves all the praise it has merited. That said, this novel began life as a self published passion project eBook, and it shows: the science is near impeccable, the ingenuity palpable. But the characters are one-note and the dialogue can be so faux-naturalistic it comes all the way back around the other way to stilted. We have the director of NASA, who is *fastidious*. Better show him straightening papers or adjusting his tie eight or nine times to be sure the reader picks up on how he’s a real person with a whole plot-superfluous character trait: fastidiousness. Meanwhile NASA’s PR chief is *vulgar-mouthed.* It’s incongruous, get it?! How realistic, that a decorous and dour public spokesperson would speak more freely behind closed doors. So, nearly every other word out of the character’s mouth is punctuated with colorful expletives. Our protagonist, meanwhile, could likewise stand to be a bit more broadly drawn. His imperiling situations are many and varied, but one could easily swap in any of Mark Watney’s wryly good-natured spieling in response to any of them and not notice the slightest tonal shift. His character would certainly have grown and changed through the trauma and hardship and jubilation of his months stranded. And while I respect the author’s stated desire not to focus too prominently on the psychological element of the survival story at the expense of the science, there is no perceptible difference in the voice of Watney the freshly castaway and the man we see at the end of his journey. It’s telling that the best, most engrossing writing in the book is within the sample chapter of Weir’s follow up novel, Artemis. He seems to have benefited from both experience and the stewardship of editors (now that he is no longer self published), which should not be interpreted as a slight—the very best fiction writing from our most seasoned authors has been edited within an inch of its life by outside eyes, and they’ll all happily acknowledge this. I immediately bought “Artemis.” Preliminary take: less captivating speculative-science content, but much stronger writing overall. By all means, buy and read The Martian. You’ll devour this absolutely unique survival story, and for all I’ve critiqued it, the iffy writing is minimally distracting from what makes this novel shine. For my part, I happily consider it an elaborate rough treatment for what became one of the best space films ever made. And as an obsessed fan of the movie, the originating material is delightful to peruse—complete with “deleted scenes!”
  • Awesome!!

    5
    By Greensweaterguy
    Awesome book. Ive seen the movie multiple times and it’s amazing and exhilarating
  • Yy

    5
    By dtest666
    Jjiii
  • Great movie better book

    5
    By WibbleWobble216
    I watched the movie and then watched the book I know that is a sin but the movie was great and the book was even better
  • Great!

    4
    By thairapyss
    Definitely an interesting and riveting read. Talk about survival mode!
  • Best book in a long time

    5
    By Q_PAVEO
    I love the story, the science and the characters.
  • The Martian

    5
    By leatherneck1812
    Fantastic, and as usual, it was better than the movie. That’s because one can use their imagination while reading any book that provides entertainment, and I’m NOT referring to trade journals or magazines!
  • Amazing

    5
    By 😀😇🤑🤑🐶🐶
    A hilarious and dramatic story, it got me hooked from the first page
  • Sensacional, de principio a fin!!!

    5
    By Tutisina
    Estupendo relato de Ciencia Ficción, que me mantuvo pegada al libro, alegrándome cuando Mark encontraba la solución a algo y sufriendo cuando algo salía mal. Es increíble la forma en que se aferra a la vida y acabe adorando su sarcástico buen humor. Este marxiano me atrapó desde que comencé a leerlo. Muy recomendable!
  • A must read!

    5
    By karan301
    I read this book sandwiched between two viewings of the movie and man, was or worth it. Each chapter was incredibly well written, and I particularly enjoyed his ‘origin story’-esque letter at the end. Bravo!