Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

martianThe Martian is a survival story that’s….out of this world. Literally. Mark Watney is left on Mars after a mission goes wrong, and his crew mates assume there was no hope for his survival. Turns out, they’re in for quite the surprise, because Mark somehow did survive, and continues to do everything he can to save his own life.

Very science-y at first, The Martian was a little bit hard to get into for me. I eventually fell into the pattern of the writing and Mark Watney’s personality, thinking that it would keep the story afloat, which it did. As someone who pretty much never reads science fiction, this was way out of the realm of what I usually like, and I was pleasantly surprised.

I do have to say though, that even though Mark’s happy go lucky, “aw shucks I’m trapped on Mars” attitude made the book easier to read, it also made the whole experience seem less real. Mark never seemed too concerned, just watching Three’s Company as he went, no big deal. But if someone was really writing about being trapped on Mars, I would think it would sound just a little bit more urgent? Then again, what do I know, I’m just someone down here on Earth.

Andy Weir’s much buzzed-about sci-fi/comedy debut was super well received last year, when it seemed it was always being reviewed or talked about or both. It’s since won a Goodreads Choice Award and been adapted to a film starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, no small feat, especially considering The Martian was originally self published.

The Martian might not be perfect for everyone, but if you’re looking for a quick read, or a fun sci-fi book, definitely give this one a try!

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  1. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but I went with the buzz on this one, and it was a really fun read. I think it’ll also make a fun movie. I’ll be curious to see if Watney’s character in the movie is as happy-go-lucky as he was in the book. Will he be talking to himself?

    1. I was wondering that too! I know with SJ Watson and Before I Go To Sleep they made the journal into a video recording in the movie, so maybe they’ll do something like that? It’ll be a lot of voice over if not, though!

  2. I ended up really liking this book! I’m not a huge science fiction reader so this seemed just light-hearted enough to keep me engaged. I do agree with you about the lack of urgency, but it didn’t really bother me that much while I was reading it… It was a fun read overall and I’m looking forward to seeing how they adapt it for film! (I had no idea that the book was originally self-published – crazy!)

  3. I just recently learned that this was originally self-published and was kind of shocked! I agree it was science heavy in the beginning, but I ended up loving it and I’m not a sci-fi reader normally.

  4. I don’t know. I took it the same way as when someone laughs at a funeral, or tells a joke during a really dark time. Coping with humor is really common, and having a good outlook on life can really make a difference. I also took it as, he says more than once that he gets to choose what he’s recording in the log. So maybe he doesn’t want anyone to know how scared he was or how hard of a struggle it really was. So he wrote technical stuff, he wrote humor, he wrote about watching 70s tv and figuring out how to take a bath.