Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir (Reader: RC Bray)
Publisher: Podium Publishing
Publication Date: March 2013
Length: 10 hr 53 min (369 pages)
Series: Stand Alone
Audio or Book: Audio
Reason for Discovery: Sword & Laser book club
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.
It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission 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 get 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. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
The book blurb does a good job of describing this book, so let's discuss the book.
This book was so much fun. I kept finding excuses to listen to this audio book, because I was so entranced by this story. As the book blurb explains, an astronaut by the name of Mark Watney gets left behind on Mars. The book is a collection of his written and audio logs. Watney is a hoot. His logs do consist of some technobabble; however, it is balanced with a good amount of fun, witty banter, so I wasn't bored with the techtalk like I normally am with hard SF books. My husband listened to a few snippets of this book, and he said Watney's explanations of the technical stuff was accurate, btw.
The Martian is Cast Away on Mars, and it is great. I was really entertained to discover how Watney got out of his latest disaster scenario. With that said, you do need to take this book with a grain of salt. Watney does experience some dangerous scenarios, but he is able to deal with a lot of stuff quite easily. At times, it just seems a bit too convenient. At the same time, if Watney died 50 pages into the book, what would the rest of the book be about? Of course, as I got closer to the end of the book, the drama ratcheted up, because I wasn't sure what was going to happen to Watney. Did he die, but we just got copies of his logs or did he survive? Well, you got to read the book yourself!
I really don't have anything else to say about this book. It is a fun, survivalist story with an entertaining protagonist. This is a great book to read in one sitting. It isn't "high literature," but it is a great read. Also, this book was originally self-published in 2012, and Crown purchased the rights and re-published it this year. Yea for a self-published author doing well.
Audio: The recording was crisp and clear. The narrator did a great job with tone and inflection. He did a decent job with the different voices. The majority of the time, Bray was reading as Watney, so even if you find some of Bray's accents a bit stereotypical, you wouldn't have to deal with it for too long.
I really recommend listening to this book. I think the audio pluses this book. It gives you a much more immersive experience.
I give this book a 5 out of 5.