The Martian – By Andy Weir

Sup Jared?

……Sorry about that. I’m starting to get bored of starting every review the same and Mark might have been a touch of a bad influence on my professionalism.

18007564.jpgTitle: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Adult
ROTS Setting: CU, Modern, Hard Scifi
Synopsis: Mark Watney is stranded on Mars. His fellow crew members, thinking him dead, left him behind. He was very much not dead. Follow his struggles and triumphs in this realistic, hard science, look at surviving a failed mission to Mars.
Recommendation: Mild language, but over all a pretty easy read. A 12 year old could probably get by without too much difficulty. An understanding of the more complex technical aspects may require an older reader. WARNING: Book contains several old people references. Notably music of the 70’s and movies of the 70’s and 80’s.

This was a good book. I don’t think it was a great book, but it was solid. I can see why it was made into a movie and I can see why the movie might be pretty awesome. (Note: I have not seen the movie yet. It hasn’t come to Redbox yet and I’m cheap….I may add a bit later when I finally see it.)

I think the best thing about the book is its connection to reality. What happens in the book could happen today. This is a fiction book with REAL science in it. (Supposedly the movie was pretty spot on too.) And knowing how accurate it is fundamentally changed how I read it. It wasn’t about enjoying the characters, or dreaming of getting lost in the universe. It was the potential and possibility of having humans on Mars, today. The very real hardships of long term survival beyond the Earth sphere, right now.

Mark Watney, the main character, is mildly annoying but I think that is mostly to the benefit of the book because it highlights him being very alone for a really long time. He’s pretty arrogant (not just confident) and his tendency to subvert authority felt a little out of place, for me personally. His sense of humor keeps things light but can also make the near-fatal problems that much more intense and dramatic. I really enjoyed that.

The plot is pretty simple. A crew go to Mars. Things go wrong. They try to leave Mars. Mark “dies” so they leave Mark behind. Mark must survive a REALLY long time alone. Mark tries not to kill himself accidentally….a lot. NASA tries to save him. Rocket goes boom. Deus ex machina. NASA saves Mark; the end.

This book REALLY needs an epilogue.

I’m going to be interested to read this authors next book. The writing style is unique and wouldn’t lend itself to doing well in a typical novel. Perfect for this, though. So I’d love to see if this author is more than a one trick pony.


UPDATE: Feb.9.2016

Just watched the movie and I was very pleased with it as a whole. I knew it would make a good movie. The cinematic elements provided an entertaining experience but as a result it lacked the substance that made the book so enjoyable. Simply put, each is good for its own reasons. The storyline didn’t vary too much so it felt like you could have read the book and then inserted pieces of the movie like video files.

I really died when Sean Bean was trying to explain where “Elrond” from “Project Elrond” came from. My wife thought I was having a fit and, of course, didn’t really get the joke until I explained it to her.

When Commander Lewis left the bridge at the end so that she could personally go to retrieve Watney didn’t feel right to me. Yes, it played up her emotional guilt for leaving him behind but it was inappropriate from a realistic point of view. Then you have Watney getting out of his chair while the capsule was tumbling which should have sent him spinning out the whole. Plus, the Ironman maneuver was beyond stupid and bordering impossible.

Something that the movie did BETTER than the book was the “epilogue.” The book ends with Watney’s rescue, but the movie provides at least some closure.





The Martian – By Andy Weir

2 thoughts on “The Martian – By Andy Weir

  1. Jared says:

    I have watched the movie. I just turned it on last week and forced Julia to sit through it. She really enjoyed the movie in the end. It has some really funny moments. I can’t wait to hear how it compares to the book.


    1. February 9th. I’m hoping to nab it February 9th, but it will probably be later that week because I’ll be fighting off the hordes all trying to get it too…….There is a reason it’s called RED-box…….things can get……messy.


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