Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 10 hours and 53 minutes (387 pages)
Publisher: Podium Publishing
Release Date: March 22, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I have been wanting to read this book for awhile and was excited to finally get it on audiobook. The story was very well done and overall I really enjoyed it. Parts of the book get pretty technical and do a good job of portraying the boredom the main character feels but there are also portions that are very exciting.
I listened to this on audiobook and I highly recommend it. This was an awesome audiobook, the narrator was spectacular and did a perfect job. I also think it was easier to listen to all the technical data than it would have been to read it.
Six days ago Mark Watney arrived in Mars, excited to execute his mission there. That was until a stronger than expected sandstorm forced him and his crew to abandon the mission, however Mark didn’t make it back. He was nearly killed by debris, leaving his crewmates to assume that he was dead. Now Mark is stranded on Mars with no way to signal anyone, everyone thinks he’s dead, and the only way he will survive is by using his brilliant mind and a crazy combination of botany and engineering skills.
Kudos to Weir for doing such excellent research for this book. There is a lot of technical stuff in this story, however it’s explained in a way that is easy to understand and darkly humorous. Being an engineer myself I would find myself trying to think through Mark’s problems and solve them before he did.
Mark’s personality pretty much makes this book. He is a pretty upbeat guy with a sardonic sense of humor; without these personality traits I don’t think there’s any way he would have been able to deal with his long seclusion from the rest of humanity. He brings a very down-to-earth and practical attitude to a challenge of epic proportions. Everyone can learn from this guy, the main lesson being…one problem at a time and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by the situation.
Weir does a good job of making the reader feel the long expanses of boredom interspersed with nearly panic-inducing disasters. The resourcefulness of Mark is astounding and amazing. The way the scientists of Earth pull together for portions of the novel was also amazing and inspiring.
My only complaint were that some of the sections (especially early in the book) where Mark is dealing with boredom and spending lots of time trying to solve very technical problems gets a bit…well boring. Maybe this was the author’s intent but I feel like these parts could have been tightened up a bit. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, it was okay but just felt rushed and a bit incomplete.
Overall this was an amazing story about one man’s resourcefulness and fight to survive. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is a highly technical story at points and does have some portions that drag a bit. However I will still recommend it for everyone to read. I would especially recommend to those who are interested in space travel and survival. I am excited to see the movie when it releases in October and happy I got to read the book before seeing the movie.