Narrator: R.C. Bray
Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
Published by Crown Publishing, Podium Publishing on March 22nd 2013
Genres: Adult, Sci-Fi
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Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue 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 kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
There isn’t anything inherently wrong with The Martian, but, look, that was a lot of fucking math.
When I was a kid still in the “oh god what will I do as a career when I’m a grownup?!” phase, I had the brilliant idea that maybe I’d be a mathematician. The Martian has just reminded me why that was a shitty idea. I love sci-fi and I’m super fascinated with space, but yeah, this one didn’t particularly spark anything in me. It didn’t leave me hungering for the next page. It was just another audiobook that I listened to to get me to the next level in Candy Crush.
But, some good points:
– Very strong narration: if you listen to the audio, good choice! Kind of. The good news is, the narrator is fantastic. The bad news is, the audio makes it hard to skim pass the more boring parts like the math. You’ll have no choice but to suffer through it if it’s not working for you.
– Excellent research: kudos to the author for all the research he did. I can’t image how long it must have taken. The fact that he included all that math indicates how meticulous and diligent he is. I have nothing but respect for that. Even if it was boring to the tenth power.
– Fascinating concept: if I were stuck on Mars, I’d probably lose my mind. So it did fascinate me to see what Mark would do in each situation. My fascination ended at multiplying and dividing potatoes.
– Interesting characters: my favorite parts were of the characters at NASA and Mark’s crew. Basically anyone that wasn’t Mark. No wait, that’s not fair. I think Mark did start to grow on me near the very end, but I can’t say I was truly invested in if he lived or died. I would have been okay with either ending.
OMG MATH WHY SO MUCH MATH MATH MATH
I disliked that as soon as the book opened, Mark was counting potatoes. I understand why, and I get that the dude has to eat to survive Mars, but if you multiply that times my interest level, you’ll get zero fucks. The problem I had was boredom. There just wasn’t a lot happening outside of counting potatoes, multiplying water, something, something chemistry and science.
It got to the point where I starting coming up with my own mathematical equations. For instance, why doesn’t my rage times my boredom equal Mark’s death? If only I could kill off characters with my mind. If only.
So I got to the end of the book and it was a decent ending, I suppose. Again, it didn’t spark any heightened suspense in my heart, I wasn’t on the edge of my seat. I thought for sure this was going to be my kind of book and almost purchased the hardcover for myself. But then I remembered I don’t actually like survival stories, which I guess explains quite a lot about why I didn’t love it.
This book would have been significantly better with aliens.