Book Review

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian  by Andy WeirThe Martian by Andy Weir

Genre: Science Fiction

Published on February 13, 2014
Published by Broadway Books, Penguin Random House, The Crown Publishing Group
Format: eBook, 385 pages
Source: Purchased

My rating:

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First sentence: I’m pretty much fucked.

You have already heard about The Martian, I can bet my Kindle on it. It won Goodreads Choice Award in 2014 for science fiction (and many others probably). Plus, there is a movie The Martian with yummy Matt Damon in the leading role.

When the book gets a lot of hype I am always reluctant to read it. The bigger the expectations – the harder the fall. But in the end, I decided to read The Martian now because I knew if I watched the movie I will never read it afterward. (I’m just weird that way.)

What Did I Like?

  • Survival stories always fire me up. Especially those like The Martian, where the hero has to put all of his brainpower (not only his strength) into living to see another day. Since I have more brain than body muscles, this gives me hope I might survive the apocalypse too.
  • Crazy solutions. Mark Watney is stuck on Mars. He has a limited amount of resources, so he improvises, a lot. His solutions to problems were often similar to funny pictures you see on the web. ‘Advanced construction techniques’ based on duct tape and ‘sophisticated methods to remove’ things done with a hammer, always made me laugh.
  • Inspiring story. Mark Watney never gives up. It’s one of the stories that inspire you to be a better, braver person.

I guess you could call it a “failure”, but I prefer the term “learning experience”.

  • Different ways to tell the story. There is nothing wrong with plain narration, but I always enjoy when the author adds something more to make the story more interesting and realistic. Beside old fashioned storytelling, Andy Weir also used entries from Mark Watney’s log journals, letters to his crew-mates, transcripts of chats between astronauts and NASA, …
  • Humor was one of the main reasons I liked Mark Watney so much. He always looks on the bright side of life and his commentaries are delightful.
  • Not overwhelming with technical details like some other science fiction books (Seveneves I am staring at you). And even if a lot of technical talk had to happen, Mark Watney was there to make it easy for me.
  • It’s not a one-man-show. A big focus is on Mark Watney but Andy Weir still paid attention to side characters and fleshed them out a bit. Not in great details, but they still felt like real people. And I honestly didn’t want to know more, I just wanted more Mark Watney’s shenanigans. 😀
  • New book crush <3 ! Mark Watney is just the kind of character I love (in real life too): a bit geeky, has a sense of humor, proactive, positive, likes stupid jokes… If I was not already married I would join Mark Watney’s fangirl club and wave ‘Will you marry me?’ sign.

What I Didn’t Like?

  • The ending was a bit rushed. After all the details what Mark Watney endured to survive, I have hoped for a bigger closure.

My Rating:

The Martian is one of those books that won me over from the first page. I could not putt it down and afterward had a major just-read-an-awesome-book hangover. For the next couple of days, all I could talk about were scenes from The Martian. There might have been watching of The Martian movie trailer and ranting how it differs from the book.

My husband suffered it all like a champ. (I think he grew an immunity by now to my book-talk.) But I must admit I am still disappointed he didn’t stop reading his current book and jumped to read The Martian ASAP. (Especially since I described to him in details how awesome character Mark Watney is.)

If you didn’t come to the conclusion by now – I really liked The Martian. If you like science fiction, you should read it (if you already didn’t). The hype was not a lie about this one! Even if you don’t like science fiction, but like survival stories with humor, give it a shot, I have a feeling Mark Watney will charm you too.

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