The Martian – Andy Weir

Posted 16 October, 2014 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 24 Comments


the martianTitle: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Narrator: R. C. Bray
Published: 2014;  Pages: 384
Audio Duration: 10 hr, 53 min
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: Fun! Mostly.

In Short: During a mission on Mars, astronaut Mark is separated from his team and presumed dead. In fact he is left all alone on the planet and does everything in his power to survive.

Why I Listened: I’ve heard so much praise recently for The Martian and I thought it would be something that Scott would enjoy listening to while on our roadtrip.

Thoughts in General: So I just discovered that this post (minus this “thoughts in general” section) has been sitting in my drafts since June. What do I remember about this book since we listened to it in June?

  • Wow Weir must either know a lot about science or he must have done a crapload of research! Scott and I were both thoroughly impressed.
  • Thankfully the entire book was not about Mark alone on Mars for 300 pages…as it seemed at the beginning. I loved Mark’s sarcastic and biting humor but learning about growing plants on Mars quickly became boring. Note: he is alone on Mars…but there are other people on earth who are also involved in the storyline.
  • I fell asleep for a good chunk of the book. It wasn’t the book’s fault–we had been driving all day, it was almost midnight, and I was tired. Sadly when I started listening again after an hour or so lapse I didn’t feel I was missing much.
  • There were several laugh out loud moments.
  • We followed up our listen to The Martian with a listen of Redshirts by John Scalzi. That was a fun listen, too, minus the over use of “said” in the book. He said, she said, they said, I said, everyone said. 10 million times in conversation.

Bottom Line: I can’t say that I loved this book as much as everyone else did but it was a lot of fun and Scott and I both enjoyed it. It was a quick listen and I suspect that it would be an ever quicker read. Timid of science fiction books? This is a great one for getting your toes wet.

A Note on the Audio: The narration by R. C. Bray was absolutely fantastic. My only regret in listening rather than reading this book is missing all of the printed exclamation points–which I didn’t realize existed until I saw an Instagrammed photo of the book. Fans of Wil Wheaton’s narrations will surely enjoy Bray’s narration. Some of the details did get a little boggy but I quickly learned what I needed to really know and what I could let wash over me. I definitely recommend going the audio route with The Martian.

 Have you read The Martian? Or listened to it? 


24 Responses to “The Martian – Andy Weir”

  1. I’ve wondered about reading this but now think it might not be for me…glad I read your review before I got a copy.

  2. A friend of mine lent me her copy of this book months ago and it’s still sitting there on my nightstand. So many people have loved it but I’m having trouble mustering enthusiasm to pick it up.

  3. I read The Martian a few months ago, and liked it more than I thought I would. It’s not normally a book I would pick up, but I read a particularly enthusiastic review of it somewhere and decided to try it. I was blown away by how smart the guy was. I will be interested to see what he comes up with next.

    • Yes! I can’t imagine all of the research and theorizing that must have gone into writing The Martian. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • It was a fun read, JoAnn, but I don’t know if it was earthshattering. I think I expected a bit more. But if you’re ever at a loss as to what to listen to next…

  4. I read the print version and really enjoyed it–the narrator has a very distinctive voice in print as well. Yes, there’s a lot of geeky science stuff but that’s what makes it fun. Well, for me anyway. :)

  5. I really enjoyed this one… non 5-stars enjoyed, but close. My next mission is to get my husband to read it because it seems like the sort of thing he’d like. (Especially since he, too, is an engineer… I think he’d like the story as a whole, but I KNOW he’d like all the bits where Mark is getting creative about the resources he has.)

    • Hmmm, apparently there is a movie being made with Matt Damon. Would that be motivation enough for your husband? I loved Mark’s voice in this one–definitely one of my favorite parts of the book.

  6. Ti

    I agree. I didn’t love this one but it was fun after getting through all the mathematical equations. I guess the movie will be good with Matt Damon in it.

  7. I’ve heard raves about this one but haven’t been super interested in it. I do like the sound of the narration though so that may be the way to go. That way I can read it without having to actually sit down and read it. Thanks for sharing! I hadn’t thought about doing the audio for this one but I like that idea!

  8. This is on my TBR list, but I haven’t picked it up. I’m waiting for a cheap ecopy of it. Or to find it at my local used bookstore.

    I think it sounds pretty awesome. I’m actually very much looking forward to it.

  9. I was going to listen to this book (I managed to listen to only half months ago before my road trip ended), but I think I will choose the print version now. I need to see all those exclamation marks!

  10. I have this one in my lineup. My husband loved it and I am planning on it after I finish Gabaldon’s newest novel.

  11. I’ve been dying to read this book ever since I read Andi and Nancy’s glowing reviews. You’ve convinced me to get it on audio (I loved Will Wheaton’s narration of Ready Player One), but unfortunately it’s not available through my library. I’m hoping they’ll get it pretty soon. Now I just have to remember to keep checking on that. :)