During a deadly sandstorm on the red planet, the crew of a groundbreaking mission to Mars is forced to evacuate. In the chaos, botanist and mechanical engineer Mark Watney is struck by flying debris. Left for dead on a barren wasteland of a planet, Watney battles to survive despite impossible odds. Though bodily concerns, like his dwindling food supply, could easily end him, the soul-crushing loneliness of deep space is just as brutal a foe. But Weir gives his protagonist a sharp sense of humor, as crucial as anything else in his fight for survival, and key to keeping the reader fully locked in. This science-powered thriller is a page-turner of the highest order. See all of the Best Fiction Books of 2014.
The Martianby Andy Weir
Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could
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 and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and 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—and 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?
From the Hardcover edition.
“Terrific stuff, a crackling good read that devotees of space travel will devour like candy…succeeds on several levels and for a variety of reasons, not least of which is its surprising plausibility.”—USA Today
“An impressively geeky debut…the technical details keep the story relentlessly precise and the suspense ramped up. And really, how can anyone not root for a regular dude to prove the U-S-A still has the Right Stuff?”--Entertainment Weekly
“Gripping…[features] a hero who can solve almost every problem while still being hilarious. It’s hard not to be swept up in [Weir’s] vision and root for every one of these characters. Grade: A.”—AVClub.com
“Andy Weir delivers with The Martian...a story for readers who enjoy thrillers, science fiction, non-fiction, or flat-out adventure [and] an authentic portrayal of the future of space travel.”--Associated Press
"A gripping tale of survival in space [that] harkens back to the early days of science fiction by masters such as Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke."--San Jose Mercury News
“One of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time. It feels so real it could almost be nonfiction, and yet it has the narrative drive and power of a rocket launch. This is Apollo 13 times ten.”
--Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Impact and Blasphemy
“A book I just couldn’t put down! It has the very rare combination of a good, original story, interestingly real characters and fascinating technical accuracy…reads like “MacGyver” meets “Mysterious Island.”
--Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Commander of the International Space Station and author of An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth
"The best book I've read in ages. Clear your schedule before you crack the seal. This story will take your breath away faster than a hull breech. Smart, funny, and white-knuckle intense, The Martian is everything you want from a novel."
--Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of Wool
“The Martian kicked my ass! Weir has crafted a relentlessly entertaining and inventive survival thriller, a MacGyver-trapped-on-Mars tale that feels just as real and harrowing as the true story of Apollo 13.”
—Ernest Cline, New York Times bestselling author of Ready Player One
“Gripping…shapes up like Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe as written by someone brighter.”
--Larry Niven, multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of the Ringworld series and Lucifer’s Hammer
“Humankind is only as strong as the challenges it faces, and The Martian pits human ingenuity (laced with more humor than you’d expect) against the greatest endeavor of our time — survival on Mars. A great read with an inspiring attention to technical detail and surprising emotional depth. Loved it!"
--Daniel H. Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse
“The tension simply never lets up, from the first page to the last, and at no point does the believability falter for even a second. You can't shake the feeling that this could all really happen.”
—Patrick Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Breach and Ghost Country
"Strong, resilent, and gutsy. It's Robinson Crusoe on Mars, 21st century style. Set aside a chunk of free time when you start this one. You're going to need it because you won't want to put it down."
—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The King’s Deception and The Columbus Affair
“An excellent first novel…Weir laces the technical details with enough keen wit to satisfy hard science fiction fan and general reader alike [and] keeps the story escalating to a riveting conclusion.”—Publisher’s Weekly (starred)
"Riveting...a tightly constructed and completely believable story of a man's ingenuity and strength in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds."--Booklist
“Sharp, funny and thrilling, with just the right amount of geekery…Weir displays a virtuosic ability to write about highly technical situations without leaving readers far behind. The result is a story that is as plausible as it is compelling.”—Kirkus
"Weir combines the heart-stopping with the humorous in this brilliant debut novel...by placing a nail-biting life-and-death situation on Mars and adding a snarky and wise-cracking nerdy hero, Weir has created the perfect mix of action and space adventure."--Library Journal (starred)
“A perfect novel in almost every way, The Martian may already have my vote for best book of 2014.”—Crimespree Magazine
“A page-turning thriller…this survival tale with a high-tech twist will pull you right in.”—Suspense Magazine
A dust storm strands astronaut Mark Watney on Mars and forces his landing crew to abandon the mission and return to Earth in Weir’s excellent first novel, an SF thriller. Watney, injured by flying debris and presumed dead, is alone on Mars with no communication and limited supplies. He is, however, the mission engineer, the fix-it guy, and with intelligence and grit he goes to work to stay alive. There are setbacks and triumphs galore as we follow Watney’s sojourn on Mars via his journal entries. Meanwhile, a desperate NASA team concocts a rescue plan on Earth. Watney’s solutions to food and life support problems are plausible, and Weir laces the technical details with enough keen wit to satisfy hard science fiction fan and general reader alike. Deftly avoiding the problem of the Robinson Crusoe tale that bogs down in repetitious behavior, Weir uses Watney’s proactive nature and determination to survive to keep the story escalating to a riveting conclusion. Agent: David Fugate, LaunchBooks Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Weir combines the heart-stopping with the humorous in this brilliant debut novel about an astronaut stranded on Mars. When its mission is scrubbed as a result of a powerful windstorm, the team of Ares 3 move from their habitat to the ascent vehicle. In transit, Mark Watney's spacesuit is punctured by debris, knocking him unconscious and disabling the suit's biosign monitor so that he appears to be dead. When he regains consciousness, Mark realizes that his crew has left him: "I'm pretty much fucked." Now all he has to do is survive, reestablish communications, find a source of food, and last until the next mission to Mars. Like TV's MacGyver, Mark does have a few potatoes, lots of duct tape, and plenty of resourcefulness. If only Mars would stop trying to kill him and the crew had left behind something other than disco music and 1970s sitcoms for entertainment. VERDICT By placing a nail-biting life-and-death situation on Mars and adding a snarky and wise-cracking nerdy hero, Weir has created the perfect mix of action and space adventure. Mark is hilarious, which makes the terror of marooned death on Mars not just bearable but downright fun. First self-published as an ebook, this revised and edited new edition has also been sold to producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class). [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/13; see Q&A with Weir, p. 78.—Ed.]—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Lib., Wisconsin Rapids
When a freak dust storm brings a manned mission to Mars to an unexpected close, an astronaut who is left behind fights to stay alive. This is the first novel from software engineer Weir. One minute, astronaut Mark Watney was with his crew, struggling to make it out of a deadly Martian dust storm and back to the ship, currently in orbit over Mars. The next minute, he was gone, blown away, with an antenna sticking out of his side. The crew knew he'd lost pressure in his suit, and they'd seen his biosigns go flat. In grave danger themselves, they made an agonizing but logical decision: Figuring Mark was dead, they took off and headed back to Earth. As it happens, though, due to a bizarre chain of events, Mark is very much alive. He wakes up some time later to find himself stranded on Mars with a limited supply of food and no way to communicate with Earth or his fellow astronauts. Luckily, Mark is a botanist as well as an astronaut. So, armed with a few potatoes, he becomes Mars' first ever farmer. From there, Mark must overcome a series of increasingly tricky mental, physical and technical challenges just to stay alive, until finally, he realizes there is just a glimmer of hope that he may actually be rescued. Weir displays a virtuosic ability to write about highly technical situations without leaving readers far behind. The result is a story that is as plausible as it is compelling. The author imbues Mark with a sharp sense of humor, which cuts the tension, sometimes a little too much--some readers may be laughing when they should be on the edges of their seats. As for Mark's verbal style, the modern dialogue at times undermines the futuristic setting. In fact, people in the book seem not only to talk the way we do now, they also use the same technology (cellphones, computers with keyboards). This makes the story feel like it's set in an alternate present, where the only difference is that humans are sending manned flights to Mars. Still, the author's ingenuity in finding new scrapes to put Mark in, not to mention the ingenuity in finding ways out of said scrapes, is impressive. Sharp, funny and thrilling, with just the right amount of geekery.
Read an Excerpt
By Andy Weir
Random House LLCCopyright © 2014 Andy Weir
All rights reserved.
LOG ENTRY: SOL 6
I'm pretty much fucked.
That's my considered opinion.
Six days into what should be the greatest two months of my life, and it's turned into a nightmare.
I don't even know who'll read this. I guess someone will find it eventually. Maybe a hundred years from now.
For the record ... I didn't die on Sol 6. Certainly the rest of the crew thought I did, and I can't blame them. Maybe there'll be a day of national mourning for me, and my Wikipedia page will say, "Mark Watney is the only human being to have died on Mars."
And it'll be right, probably. 'Cause I'll surely die here. Just not on Sol 6 when everyone thinks I did.
Let's see ... where do I begin?
The Ares Program. Mankind reaching out to Mars to send people to another planet for the very first time and expand the horizons of humanity blah, blah, blah. The Ares 1 crew did their thing and came back heroes. They got the parades and fame and love of the world.
Ares 2 did the same thing, in a different location on Mars. They got a firm handshake and a hot cup of coffee when they got home.
Ares 3. Well, that was my mission. Okay, not mine per se. Commander Lewis was in charge. I was just one of her crew. Actually, I was the very lowest ranked member of the crew. I would only be "in command" of the mission if I were the only remaining person.
What do you know? I'm in command.
I wonder if this log will be recovered before the rest of the crew die of old age. I presume they got back to Earth all right. Guys, if you're reading this: It wasn't your fault. You did what you had to do. In your position I would have done the same thing. I don't blame you, and I'm glad you survived.
I guess I should explain how Mars missions work, for any layman who may be reading this. We got to Earth orbit the normal way, through an ordinary ship to Hermes. All the Ares missions use Hermes to get to and from Mars. It's really big and cost a lot so NASA built only one.
Once we got to Hermes, four additional unmanned missions brought us fuel and supplies while we prepared for our trip. Once everything was a go, we set out for Mars. But not very fast. Gone are the days of heavy chemical fuel burns and trans-Mars injection orbits.
Hermes is powered by ion engines. They throw argon out the back of the ship really fast to get a tiny amount of acceleration. The thing is, it doesn't take much reactant mass, so a little argon (and a nuclear reactor to power things) let us accelerate constantly the whole way there. You'd be amazed at how fast you can get going with a tiny acceleration over a long time.
I could regale you with tales of how we had great fun on the trip, but I won't. I don't feel like reliving it right now. Suffice it to say we got to Mars 124 days later without strangling each other.
From there, we took the MDV (Mars descent vehicle) to the surface. The MDV is basically a big can with some light thrusters and parachutes attached. Its sole purpose is to get six humans from Mars orbit to the surface without killing any of them.
And now we come to the real trick of Mars exploration: having all of our shit there in advance.
A total of fourteen unmanned missions deposited everything we would need for surface operations. They tried their best to land all the supply vessels in the same general area, and did a reasonably good job. Supplies aren't nearly so fragile as humans and can hit the ground really hard. But they tend to bounce around a lot.
Naturally, they didn't send us to Mars until they'd confirmed that all the supplies had made it to the surface and their containers weren't breached. Start to finish, including supply missions, a Mars mission takes about three years. In fact, there were Ares 3 supplies en route to Mars while the Ares 2 crew were on their way home.
The most important piece of the advance supplies, of course, was the MAV. The Mars ascent vehicle. That was how we would get back to Hermes after surface operations were complete. The MAV was soft-landed (as opposed to the balloon bounce-fest the other supplies had). Of course, it was in constant communication with Houston, and if there had been any problems with it, we would have passed by Mars and gone home without ever landing.
The MAV is pretty cool. Turns out, through a neat set of chemical reactions with the Martian atmosphere, for every kilogram of hydrogen you bring to Mars, you can make thirteen kilograms of fuel. It's a slow process, though. It takes twenty-four months to fill the tank. That's why they sent it long before we got here.
You can imagine how disappointed I was when I discovered the MAV was gone.
It was a ridiculous sequence of events that led to me almost dying, and an even more ridiculous sequence that led to me surviving.
The mission is designed to handle sandstorm gusts up to 150 kph. So Houston got understandably nervous when we got whacked with 175 kph winds. We all got in our flight space suits and huddled in the middle of the Hab, just in case it lost pressure. But the Hab wasn't the problem.
The MAV is a spaceship. It has a lot of delicate parts. It can put up with storms to a certain extent, but it can't just get sandblasted forever. After an hour and a half of sustained wind, NASA gave the order to abort. Nobody wanted to stop a monthlong mission after only six days, but if the MAV took any more punishment, we'd all have gotten stranded down there.
We had to go out in the storm to get from the Hab to the MAV. That was going to be risky, but what choice did we have?
Everyone made it but me.
Our main communications dish, which relayed signals from the Hab to Hermes, acted like a parachute, getting torn from its foundation and carried with the torrent. Along the way, it crashed through the reception antenna array. Then one of those long thin antennae slammed into me end-first. It tore through my suit like a bullet through butter, and I felt the worst pain of my life as it ripped open my side. I vaguely remember having the wind knocked out of me (pulled out of me, really) and my ears popping painfully as the pressure of my suit escaped.
The last thing I remember was seeing Johanssen hopelessly reaching out toward me.
I awoke to the oxygen alarm in my suit. A steady, obnoxious beeping that eventually roused me from a deep and profound desire to just fucking die.
The storm had abated; I was facedown, almost totally buried in sand. As I groggily came to, I wondered why I wasn't more dead.
The antenna had enough force to punch through the suit and my side, but it had been stopped by my pelvis. So there was only one hole in the suit (and a hole in me, of course).
I had been knocked back quite a ways and rolled down a steep hill. Somehow I landed facedown, which forced the antenna to a strongly oblique angle that put a lot of torque on the hole in the suit. It made a weak seal.
Then, the copious blood from my wound trickled down toward the hole. As the blood reached the site of the breach, the water in it quickly evaporated from the airflow and low pressure, leaving a gunky residue behind. More blood came in behind it and was also reduced to gunk. Eventually, it sealed the gaps around the hole and reduced the leak to something the suit could counteract.
The suit did its job admirably. Sensing the drop in pressure, it constantly flooded itself with air from my nitrogen tank to equalize. Once the leak became manageable, it only had to trickle new air in slowly to relieve the air lost.
After a while, the CO2 (carbon dioxide) absorbers in the suit were expended. That's really the limiting factor to life support. Not the amount of oxygen you bring with you, but the amount of CO2 you can remove. In the Hab, I have the oxygenator, a large piece of equipment that breaks apart CO2 to give the oxygen back. But the space suits have to be portable, so they use a simple chemical absorption process with expendable filters. I'd been asleep long enough that my filters were useless.
The suit saw this problem and moved into an emergency mode the engineers call "bloodletting." Having no way to separate out the CO2, the suit deliberately vented air to the Martian atmosphere, then backfilled with nitrogen. Between the breach and the bloodletting, it quickly ran out of nitrogen. All it had left was my oxygen tank.
So it did the only thing it could to keep me alive. It started backfilling with pure oxygen. I now risked dying from oxygen toxicity, as the excessively high amount of oxygen threatened to burn up my nervous system, lungs, and eyes. An ironic death for someone with a leaky space suit: too much oxygen.
Every step of the way would have had beeping alarms, alerts, and warnings. But it was the high-oxygen warning that woke me.
The sheer volume of training for a space mission is astounding. I'd spent a week back on Earth practicing emergency space suit drills. I knew what to do.
Carefully reaching to the side of my helmet, I got the breach kit. It's nothing more than a funnel with a valve at the small end and an unbelievably sticky resin on the wide end. The idea is you have the valve open and stick the wide end over a hole. The air can escape through the valve, so it doesn't interfere with the resin making a good seal. Then you close the valve, and you've sealed the breach.
The tricky part was getting the antenna out of the way. I pulled it out as fast as I could, wincing as the sudden pressure drop dizzied me and made the wound in my side scream in agony.
I got the breach kit over the hole and sealed it. It held. The suit backfilled the missing air with yet more oxygen. Checking my arm readouts, I saw the suit was now at 85 percent oxygen. For reference, Earth's atmosphere is about 21 percent. I'd be okay, so long as I didn't spend too much time like that.
I stumbled up the hill back toward the Hab. As I crested the rise, I saw something that made me very happy and something that made me very sad: The Hab was intact (yay!) and the MAV was gone (boo!).
Right that moment I knew I was screwed. But I didn't want to just die out on the surface. I limped back to the Hab and fumbled my way into an airlock. As soon as it equalized, I threw off my helmet.
Once inside the Hab, I doffed the suit and got my first good look at the injury. It would need stitches. Fortunately, all of us had been trained in basic medical procedures, and the Hab had excellent medical supplies. A quick shot of local anesthetic, irrigate the wound, nine stitches, and I was done. I'd be taking antibiotics for a couple of weeks, but other than that I'd be fine.
I knew it was hopeless, but I tried firing up the communications array. No signal, of course. The primary satellite dish had broken off, remember? And it took the reception antennae with it. The Hab had secondary and tertiary communications systems, but they were both just for talking to the MAV, which would use its much more powerful systems to relay to Hermes. Thing is, that only works if the MAV is still around.
I had no way to talk to Hermes. In time, I could locate the dish out on the surface, but it would take weeks for me to rig up any repairs, and that would be too late. In an abort, Hermes would leave orbit within twenty-four hours. The orbital dynamics made the trip safer and shorter the earlier you left, so why wait?
Checking out my suit, I saw the antenna had plowed through my bio-monitor computer. When on an EVA, all the crew's suits are networked so we can see each other's status. The rest of the crew would have seen the pressure in my suit drop to nearly zero, followed immediately by my bio-signs going flat. Add to that watching me tumble down a hill with a spear through me in the middle of a sandstorm ... yeah. They thought I was dead. How could they not?
They may have even had a brief discussion about recovering my body, but regulations are clear. In the event a crewman dies on Mars, he stays on Mars. Leaving his body behind reduces weight for the MAV on the trip back. That means more disposable fuel and a larger margin of error for the return thrust. No point in giving that up for sentimentality.
So that's the situation. I'm stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth. Everyone thinks I'm dead. I'm in a Hab designed to last thirty-one 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 fucked.CHAPTER 2
LOG ENTRY: SOL 7
Okay, I've had a good night's sleep, and things don't seem as hopeless as they did yesterday.
Today I took stock of supplies and did a quick EVA to check up on the external equipment. Here's my situation:
The surface mission was supposed to be thirty-one days. For redundancy, the supply probes had enough food to last the whole crew fifty-six days. That way if one or two probes had problems, we'd still have enough food to complete the mission.
We were six days in when all hell broke loose, so that leaves enough food to feed six people for fifty days. I'm just one guy, so it'll last me three hundred days. And that's if I don't ration it. So I've got a fair bit of time.
I'm pretty flush on EVA suits, too. Each crew member had two space suits: a flight spacesuit to wear during descent and ascent, and the much bulkier and more robust EVA suit to wear when doing surface operations. My flight spacesuit has a hole in it, and of course the crew was wearing the other five when they returned to Hermes. But all six EVA suits are still here and in perfect condition.
Excerpted from The Martian by Andy Weir. Copyright © 2014 Andy Weir. Excerpted by permission of Random House LLC, a division of Random House, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
ANDY WEIR was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.
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First, a big thank you to NetGalley for sending me an eARC of this book. The Martian is described as Apollo 13 meets Castaway. I had the honor of meeting Astronaut Jim Lovell, have a signed copy of his book about the Apollo 13 mission (which I've read 3 times) and I loved Castaway! And... One of my mild obsessions is Mars! I want to go to Mars. I talk to my grandkids about how they need to be astronauts when they grow up so THEY can go to Mars. When I read the description of The Martian, the science geek in me that loves reading and/or watching everything I can about the Apollo program,and who loves Mars... well, you can say I got just a tad bit excited. Alright, maybe more than a tad bit. And then I settled in to read. Wow!! Amazing, amazing read. It's completely believable and in my mind I was right there with Mark Watney as he solved one disastrous problem after another after another. This book was written so I was never bored with the science whatsoever, even though a lot of it was way over my head. Astronaut Mark Watney is a cheeky, oftentimes, hilarious botanist/engineer with a lot of McGuyver ingenuity. I seriously had a hard time putting this book down and even though it's been several days, I still cannot stop thinking about this book. Author Andy Weir has really crafted a well thought out, exciting thriller of a story which includes all the science of NASA and space travel. I couldn't get enough and sure hope he continues writing in this genre. I will definately be first in line to pick up his future books!! Well done, Mr. Weir!
This was the best, most exciting book I have read in a long time. The engaging character of Mark Watney makes the book. Readers who are not normally Science Fiction buffs will still enjoy this book immensely.
I am a 65 year old grandma. I love science fiction. When they start selling tickets to the moon or Mars I'll be the first in line. I loved this book. Held my interest the whole way. I read it in a day & a half. I might it again.
Gravity meets Castaway. Funny, exciting, and a little bit nerdy, this book is a real page turner. Well paced and cleverly written, I found myself cheering for Watney. I have no doubts this will become a movie because it is almost tailor made for Hollywood.
I didn't think I would like this book at first especially the way it was written but found it hard to put down until I finished reading it and then I wasn't ready for it to be over!
Loved the book. I am not a techie and there is a lot of technical concepts and hardware in the book. Regardless, the book held my interest to the point that did not want to put it down.. Great read.
Highly readable as a sort of extended McGyver episode. While I found the characterization of this book weak and the narrator at times annoying, I still found it compulsively readable as a detailed "What if" scenario. It takes being stranded seriously, and applies the science of the situation rigorously. And science is really what makes this book stand out. It can make you love science again, for at its most basic it is applied ingenuity, and this book is full of that. The main character here really isn't Mark Whatney, stranded astronaut. The main character is science. I would give the book a much higher rating if it weren't for the first person Mark Whatney sections, where I think the writer's inexperience shows. The tone of voice there as narrated by Whatney seem much more filled with the writer's enthusiasm for his ideas than the astronaut's. I just never bought the astronaut's tone of voice, which remained unchanging throughout his long ordeal. I actually think the whole book would have been stronger in third person voice, because I often found myself wondering why Whatney would be writing in this way. However, I gladly overlooked all that in order to experience a relatively realistic space scenario, that replaces standard action movie clichés with the rigorous safety protocols a trained engineer would use in such a situation. As a licensed scuba diver and the son of a pilot, the constant safety steps really rang true to me. And if you've got a kid anywhere near you at all interested in science, please do give them a copy of this book.
A wholy entertaining work. A lot of technical enginerring and chemistry (l've no idea if most is real) but the author makes it exciting.and.a lot of fun to read! Wish I had had professors in college that had made that stuff as fun! Bottom line - a terrific read!
Believing he is dead, Mark Watney's crew leaves him behind as they are forced to make an emergency evacuation. But Watney survives, and finds he is completely alone and stranded... on Mars. The Martian details his determination to beat impossible odds and attempt to survive. Watney makes MacGyver's ingenuity seem like child's play, and Tom Hanks's situation in Castaway feel like a dream vacation. Andy Weir knows how to write for the layperson and gives his main character a wonderfully quirky sense of humor (Watney calls his habitat "Little HAB on the Prairie" hahaha). Scientific and technical details are never tedious. There was not one moment I felt bogged down; in fact, I was completely absorbed, flipping page after page, devouring the story on the edge of my seat. I felt like I was reading a movie! Once in a while, the humor and informal tone got a bit too silly, reminding me of Red Dwarf (which admittedly, is awesome in its own way). But you know, I can live with that, because The Martian is exactly how I like my sci-fi: plenty of science, technically satisfying without being stodgy, entertaining, and not without humor. Loved this one. I can't wait to read more by Andy Weir. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Quite honestly, this has probably been one of the best books I've read in a VERY long time. I couldn't put this one down! It had me on the edge of my seat and rooting for the main character every step of the way. There were even times in the book that I actually starting sweating because I was so nervous for him! You felt all of his frustrations and experienced every triumph right along with him. The main character, Mark Watney, has a very dry sarcastic sense of humor that I loved. It really breaks up the tension in the book and makes you relate to the character more. I will warn you that there is a bit of profanity in the book, if you are sensitive to that kind of thing. I have been recommending this book to everyone I know....including my husband! haha! He's started reading it and is hooked now too. Definitely a must read!
A very captivating and hilarious novel. The author was able to give the reader a glimpse into the mind of a stranded smart-ass who, at the end of the day, is just trying to get home alive
I loved this book! The author makes the science so readable and interesting. The pacing and problems the main character had to continually face reminded me of John Grisham's "The Firm." Science fiction fan or not, this book will keep you reading long into the night. James H.
Don't give up. Science can be very useful. When your whole world falls apart, comedy helps. Never quit. There are always alternatives. Keep on trucking. Just when things are at their worst, the real trouble begins. Laugh, and don't give up.
Fun to read, even with all the math. Now I can't wait for the movie. I hope they don't screw it up.
This is the best science fiction book I have read since running out of Heinlein and Asimov years ago. Thanks, Andy!
Looking for more books by this author. This one actually made me chuckle audibly a few times.
Well written! Felt as if I was actually there. More more!
Should the scientific minds of this time have the capability to send manned missions to Mars, this is how it could be done. The storyline is compelling, the science seems plausible & the characters embody the qualities one would expect from space explorers...calm under pressure, ingenuity, great intelligence & the drive to succeed or die trying. A great read for anyone who has an interest in space. If handled well this will be a good film.
Initially I thought of the old movie, Robinson Caruso on Mars. Obviously this is much more serious and thrilling. I think there were maybe a few too many issues that Whatney had to deal with, as you kept thinking, OK what is going to happen next. If you think about it Whatney has to survive, how else would the log file be kept. ? I highly recommend this book. The science is sound and the story pulls you along. I was surprised not to see the quote "Failure is not an option." Can't wait to see the movie.
Do it. Right now. No really, like, right this second. This is seriously one of the most interesting, suspenseful, and rewarding books I have ever had the pleasure of picking up (and then not being able to set back down). The plot is winding, the pace is fast, and the characters? Truly magnificent. They're very much the best part of the story, really. You will not regret a single moment of the reading experience (or at least, I didn't, for what that's worth). 10/10 Would Highly Recommend
Definitely a great read if you're into this genre.
This is one of the best books I have read in a while. Really, really good. Highly recommend it. Hope the author writes more like this one.
Well written, although I noticed some spelling and grammar mistakes throughout. Also, I felt the book could have been a bit more descriptive at times. However, I could not put it down and often found myself laughing out loud. I read this book in three days. A great first effort by a new author. My biggest issue is with the way the book ended. I thought the author could have spent another 50 pages on the return voyage and what happened when the main character arrived back on Earth. I would definitely purchase another book by this author.
Great story. The only real criticism I have is that parts of the book were so technical regarding equipment and the needed modifications for survival on Mars that it got really boring in places. While some of these details are integral to the story, they were repeated over and over and over again. Overall, a good read with an easy writing style and good character development.
I really enjoyed this book. I liked it bette than the movie as it was much more realistic. The protaganist has a wicked sense of humor.