Book Reviews

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

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The Martian by Andy Weir

Publication Date: August 28th, 2014

Publisher: Del Rey (Random House)

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Thriller, Adventure, Humour

Series Status: Stand alone

Pages: 369

Format and Source: Paperback, Owned

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

I’m stranded on Mars.

I have no way to communicate with Earth.

I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.

If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.

So yeah. I’m screwed.


QUICK WARNING: Half of this review will be spoiler filled. But don’t worry, I’ll warn when the spoilers are going to be there.

So I’m going to start off by simply stating that I love The Martian by Andy Weir. This is definitely a new favourite of mine. Now for the reasons why.

You would expect this to be more of a comment on humanity and how we band together to help each other in trying situations. While this theme was largely present, it was mainly just bloody funny. Mark Watney is such a wonderfully hilarious and genuine character that it made such a serious situation – where I should be glued to the page tense, waiting for something bad to happen – stupidly funny. I actually started reading this in Costa, but I had to head home because it was becoming too hard to not laugh and not be a crazy lady giggling to herself in the corner.

This humour helped me get through the mass of scientific mumbo-jumbo which went way over my head. Luckily you only need to understand the basics to comprehend what is going on. Though I didn’t get a lot of it, I really liked it a lot as it made the situation seem entirely more plausible. It also showed the level of research and devotion Andy Weir put into his book, which is always great to see.

I also really enjoyed how we could see the situation from two perspectives: Mark Watney’s, and the team on Earth who were working on getting Mark back to Earth. This added more depth into the struggles of his situation. It was also really nice (if that’s even the proper word to describe it) to see how everyone on Earth teamed together and basically said, “Screw bureaucracy and money. Let’s get Mark back on Earth.”

FROM HERE ON THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! 

There were obviously darker moments that were matters of life and death – how could there not be in a book such as this? But somehow there was still a veil of humour which made each critical moment have more impact. For instance the real threat of both suicide and cannibalism was somehow turned into a joke.

Overall I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys humour, science fiction, and potatoes.

Also while I was reading this I actually took pictures of some of the pages because I had to share the hilarity of this with you. So here are the pics, which are major spoilers but I had to. You have been warned!

image
All the astronauts were allowed to bring memory sticks filled with whatever they want, and Mark is going through them out of boredom. Read the last couple lines.
image
People on Earth are wondering what he’s going through, and this is what he was thinking at the time…
image
Mark has gained contact with Earth, and this is an email he received back from them…

There is one photograph I didn’t add because I can’t seem to find it, but I think you get the picture of why I love this book. Sorry for the spoilers. I couldn’t help it. Well I could, but I didn’t want to – if that makes sense.

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13 thoughts on “Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

    1. I was going to have some intelligent answer about the subject of science fiction, but instead I’m just giggling over the word marooned. Thanks for that! 🙂

      Like

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