The Martian by Andy Weir (Book Review)

The Martian by Andy Weir

What It’s About: (via Wikipedia)
The story follows an American astronaut, Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on Mars and must improvise in order to survive.

My Thoughts:

I’ve been working my way through the big pile of books that I got last Christmas. Here’s the picture that I took of them at the time:

I’ve done okay – I’ve now read everything in that photo other than The Book Thief, Straight White Male & A Game Of Thrones (I don’t have the energy to start on that last one but I’m currently reading George R.R. Martin’s Tuf Voyaging – has anyone read that?). Oh, and I’ve read a few library books as well so that’s a lot of books for me in one year since I’m a pretty slow reader.

Yeah, I’m rambling. As always, I hate doing book reviews! But I feel like I should, just like I can’t watch a movie without sticking my thoughts on this blog. I just really enjoy discussing movies & books with you guys in the comments. And I LOVED The Martian (it’s a very close second place to Ready Player One of the twelve books I’ve read this year) so let’s get this “review” over with so we can chat about it. πŸ™‚

The Martian works so well, for me, thanks to the character of Mark Watney. I loved him! The most important thing to me, when reading a book, is that I actually like the main character. I mean, it takes time to read a book! At least if you hate the characters in a movie, you haven’t wasted as much of your time. And, obviously, this book is about a guy stranded alone on Mars – it wouldn’t be a very fun read if people hated Mark! Judging from the popularity of the book, people have clearly bought into the character. Hell, I’d totally have a crush on him if he was a real person – he has a fantastic sense of humor! I didn’t expect that & it worked perfectly within a plot that sounded like it had the potential to be boring. I guess if you’re stranded on Mars, you’d have to have a sense of humor about it so you don’t go insane, huh?

Oh, and while I prefer what I assume is the U.S. cover up there as I like to form my own picture of the characters in my mind (and there’s nothing I hate more than a book cover with pictures of the stars from a movie adaptation – does anyone else hate that?!), the U.K. The Martian cover has a really hot guy on it so I was a little disappointed at Matt Damon being cast in the movie as he’s not at all what I pictured while I read it. We’ll see – I think he should at least be able to pull off Watney’s sense of humor.

Check that dude out. He’s seriously hot. I mean, he’s sweating but he’s also super attractive.

Okay, enough about Mark Watney. Yes, he’s what really made this book such a great read for me but sci-fi is also my favorite genre so that was going to help as well. I hadn’t heard anything about this book when I spotted it in a shop & read the back. It immediately went onto my Christmas list. It’s such a simple sounding set-up & I wanted to see just how on Earth (er, Mars) the author would manage to make a story about a lonely castaway at all interesting. Well, Weir certainly manages this! It’s obvious now thanks to the movie coming out that there are other characters but I didn’t know if that would be the case before I read it. I have to say that the bits focusing on Watney were by far the best & most exciting anyway. I know nothing about science & the accuracy of everything in the book (I’m assuming nothing is too outrageous as people love to bitch when things are too far-fetched) but I even loved reading the technical-sounding things Watney had to do to survive. You’d think reading a lot (and I mean a lot) about growing food on Mars would be boring. But it wasn’t! I found all that fascinating (whether it’s accurate or not – no idea).

Okay – I’ve said enough. Another book review DONE. Yay! I’m also going to try to squeeze in a double review of the two Joe Hill books, NOS4A2 & Horns, on Wednesday. I want to get those out of the way before I start off another “October Horrorfest” on Thursday since I watched Horns as well & plan to review it next week.

Blah blah blah. Just read The Martian. It’s seriously great! Although, I’ve left it too late to review it so, if you haven’t read it yet, you’ll probably just go to the movie now instead. I’ve avoided reviews but the word so far seems to be that it’s Ridley Scott’s best in a long time. I really do hope that’s true but I also hope people will still check out the book too. I think you’ll be missing out if you only watch the movie.

My Rating: 5/5

54 thoughts on “The Martian by Andy Weir (Book Review)

  1. I loved this book, too. The only nitpick I had about it is [SPOILER] is it was Watney has problem, Watney quickly solves problem, repeat. It never seemed like he was in any real danger and his survival was never in doubt, so it kind of deflated the tension. But overall it was great, and I’m really looking forward to the movie. Maybe Ridley Scott actually won’t fudge it up for once.

    • Well, this is true. I suppose [SPOILER] I never exactly doubted for one second that he would survive. But that’s okay – I don’t like tension. πŸ˜‰ I require all books I read to have happy endings, whereas I often like sad endings to movies. Weird. Hey! As for that NOS4A2 title difference, you’ll be happy to know that I start the review out on Wednesday with a little story about that difference. Because, you see, I live in England…… πŸ˜‰ But I actually now want to hear how you say Nosferatu? I must say it the English way as the ‘R’ almost makes more sense.

  2. Oh, yeah! So glad you enjoyed ‘The Martian’, being my favorite novel of 2014, and all. πŸ˜‰

    My daughter is finishing it this week in prep for our screening this coming weekend.

    • I did! I LOVED it. I remember you saying that you did too. πŸ™‚ That’s so cool that you’re getting to see it with your daughter. Hope she’s enjoying the book! I can’t wait to see what Scott has done with the film – I’ll be going to it next week. πŸ™‚

    • Lol. Thanks! I really struggle with what to say about a book since, like, I’m not a writer & the author IS. Or… Whatever. πŸ™‚ lol – You’re getting there! I hope those other nine people read it quickly so you can read it SOON. πŸ˜‰ It’s so good!

    • You should learn someday because this book is really freaking good!!! πŸ˜‰ Oh, and I’m quite enjoying the George R.R. Martin book I’m reading now (that Tuf Voyaging one). It’s obviously not as funny as Hitchhiker’s but, so far, has that sort of a vibe. πŸ™‚

  3. The Martian is the best book I’ve read in the past few years. I loved every single page of it. Can’t wait for the film.

    And I hope they leave his pondering about Aquaman controlling whales in the film, I loved that so much.

    • Yes! It really is a fantastic book, isn’t it? πŸ˜‰ I’ve still not seen the film!!!! Ugh! Soon, I hope. Lol – I forgot about Aquaman & all that. I hope they’ve put stuff like that in the film as well! πŸ™‚

  4. I just finished it today and loved it as well. I feel like most modern authors would have made Mark brooding and cynical but he was so likable. I really found his MacGyver type attitude to challenges engaging and exciting. I rarely find new novels I love but this is one of them

    • Yeah – I loved that he made him so likeable. I love that description – the “MacGyver attitude”. Very true! Such an entertaining book. I wish there were more like it. πŸ™‚

  5. I’ve wanted to read this book for while and I’ve loved the trailers for the new movie. I love movies set in space and I’m glad to see film makers are making more of these. And I’m also jealous that you got a different cover in the U.K. — that guy is super hot. πŸ˜‰ lol

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