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The Martian

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4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  109,235 ratings  ·  18,442 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 369 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Crown (first published September 23rd 2012)
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Kathylill Honestly, if you take the time to write this question here, you should have also taken the time to read a few of the 3000 5-Star reviews, or go to the…moreHonestly, if you take the time to write this question here, you should have also taken the time to read a few of the 3000 5-Star reviews, or go to the author's website. Then maybe you would have found out, that his and the book's story is rather interesting: Andy Weir began writing the book in 2009 and spent three years working out the details of the story. The novel, began as a self-published science-fiction serial. As he'd been rebuffed by literary agents in the past, he decided to put the novel on his website free of charge in September 2012. A few fans asked him to sell the story on Amazon (for 0.99) so that they could download it to e-readers. It rose to the top of Amazon's list of best-selling science-fiction titles. He sold 35,000 copies in three months. Only now, agents and publishers and movie studios started to get interested. Weir sold the print rights to Crown in March 2013 and The Martian debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list on March 2, 2014 in the hardcover fiction category at twelfth position.

So regarding your question: Apparently Weir wrote this book not really so he could make lots of money with it. He never really expected the audience for "The Martian" to grow much beyond the handful of fans who read it on his website, he said in several interviews.

I did read this book long before it got published as hardcover. One of the main reasons why I did pick up a hardcore science fiction book (which I normally really don't do) was specifically because of the promotion as "Apollo 13 meets Cast Away". I love watching science-fiction and survival or catastrophe movies like Apollo 13, Gravity, Space Cowboys, Armageddon or Mission to Mars. So for me (normally a reader of fantasy and romance novels) this promotion worked rather fine.

I know there are authors who get contracted to write a story based on popular fiction. This is really not one of them. I am especially happy for the author that his selfpublished book was so successful that publishers picked it up and that he could sell the rights in the end.

This is an entertaining read. If you get past the marketing blurb let me know how you liked it. (less)
Jace Finlayson Dr Karl Kruszelnicki on an Australian Science radio show in August 2014, stated that all the scientific facts and methods for dealing with the…moreDr Karl Kruszelnicki on an Australian Science radio show in August 2014, stated that all the scientific facts and methods for dealing with the environment, etc, was in fact, accurate.(less)
Ready Player One by Ernest ClineOld Man's War by John ScalziThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsAnathem by Neal StephensonAltered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
Best Science Fiction of the 21st Century
11th out of 356 books — 3,550 voters
The Martian by Andy WeirReady Player One by Ernest ClineThe Meat Market by James ChalkA Scanner Darkly by Philip K. DickParable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Hidden Gems of Science Fiction
1st out of 275 books — 333 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Davy-Gravy
Unpopular opinion time: I don't like how this book is written. Watney's journals read like a nerdy blog rather than a dramatic survivor's diary. It's hard to find something harrowing and traumatic when the protagonist is saying "yay!" a lot and making incessant corny puns. "3.6 pirate-ninjas!" "Yay oxygen!" "Lol gay probe lol!!!!!1!" "Bad rover, no Scooby snack!!!111!" "LOL craaaaaaap!!1!" For me, those aren't funny, they're almost embarrassing.

No matter what horrible thing is happening to Watne
...more
Emily May
First off, welcome to 2015!

Let's kick this year off with a review of a book about a guy who deserves to survive more than anyone I've ever known. This book has been lurking around in my Goodreads feed, gaining hype, and all the positive reviews from my friends eventually got too much for me - so I had to check this out for myself. I'm glad I gave in.

The Martian has so many good things going for it. First and foremost, it is a classic tale of survival against very huge odds. In this book, Mark Wa
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
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 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 fucked.
If you think about it, Robinson Crusoe is kind of a whiny pussy, I say, while sitting in my plush computer
...more
Beverley
If The Martian isn't a million dollar blockbuster in the next 5 years, Hollywood have missed a treat. I read the entire thing in one sitting, making it probably the best way to pass 8 hours that I can think of. Maybe it helps that I came to the book with no expectations, except the hope that I might get my next 'fix' for my inner space geek.

Well, what a fix! The story is a fast-paced, compelling adventure across Mars and offered everything I wanted and more. I was behind Mark Watney the whole w
...more
Althea Ann
'Crap! My astronaut crewmates accidentally left me behind on Mars! I'm fucked! I'm going to die! Oh wait! I just thought of something highly logically unlikely and technically complicated, that I am sure to pull off without a hitch, because did I mention that I am Plucky and Ingenious? It sure is a good thing that I am super-talented! Yay! That worked! I'm not dead! [Next chapter] But wait! Disaster has struck! Shit happens, when you're stuck alone on Mars. Whatever shall I do? OMG, I just had a ...more
Nataliya
Sometimes I'm lucky enough to come across a book that makes me go all Whee-heeee! with the sincerest glee rivaling that of over-sugared-up kids about to open Christmas gifts.
“I can't wait till I have grandchildren. “When I was younger, I had to walk to the rim of a crater. Uphill! In an EVA suit! On Mars, ya little shit! Ya hear me? Mars!”
A book that makes me willingly turn my chronically sleep-deprived state into the acutely sleep-deprived one as I battle somnolence at 4 a.m. so that I can re
...more
Wendy Darling
4.5 stars This book is nothing short of spectacular. It is insanely well-researched, and it's impossible not to be charmed by Mark Watney's hilarious sense of humor, or jeez-MY-brain-is-filled-with-absolutely-useless-information-impressed by his smarts, ingenuity, and spirit.

I will say that after a few chapters, I started skimming some of the more technical parts of what he was doing to survive. I normally love this stuff, and certainly I absolutely DID enjoy much of what was here and sincerely
...more
Alejandro
Mission Control to Reviewer One...

Reviewer One, here. Go ahead, Mission Control...

Lift off minus fifteen. Final Systems Check...

Roger, Mission Control...

Characters... Go...

Story... Go...

Style... Go...

Overall Reading Experience... Go...

Roger, Reviewer One. All Systems are Go. Iniating Countdown.

Ten! Nine! Eight! Seven! Six! Five! Four! Three! Two!...

One! Lift off! We have a lift off!...

Welcome to CNN's Reviewer One Report. Presented to you thanks to the sponsorship of "The Martian"'s Quotes...

No
...more
Kemper
Scientists and David Bowie have long wondered if there is life on Mars. There is, but he isn’t very happy about it. And he probably won’t be alive for long.

A six-person crew made the third manned landing mission on the red planet, but a severe wind storm forces them to leave just a few days after their arrival rather than staying for the planned month. During the emergency evacuation one of them is killed in a freak accident. The remaining crew members reluctantly haul ass back to Earth leaving
...more
Trudi
4.5 stars

This whole book left me stupid happy and deliriously impressed and I spent most of my time declaring:



Jesse would have loved Mark Watney. I love Mark Watney. He's super smart but not just in a poindexter nerd alert bookish kind of way. Watney's got some serious problem solving skills; he's McGyver in a space suit. Give this guy a toothpick, some tinfoil and a ziplock bag and he'll build you an airplane. But don't forget the duct tape. Duct tape is awesome and I will be putting in a suppl
...more
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
Nov 28, 2014 Shelby *wants some flying monkeys* rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!!!!
Recommended to Shelby *wants some flying monkeys* by: Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Shelves: favorites, read-2014
Mark Watney. I just can't even tell you how much I love this character. I think he may just be on the list of my favorite male characters ever. The dude is stranded on Mars..with no one. Does he cry? Well, only sometimes. Does he fight against the planet from hell? Heck yes!


Everywhere I go, I'm the first. Step outside the rover? First guy to every be there! Climb a hill? First guy to climb that hill! Kick a rock? That rock hadn't moved in a million years!


I did get lost in some of the science o
...more
Su
I like hard science fiction, so I was really looking forward to this story of an astronaut stranded alone on Mars when his mission is aborted and all the crew make it off the planet but him. Unfortunately, the book has a couple of major flaws that ultimately kept me from finishing it. The first is that the narrator has almost no personality; the log entries read like a series of grocery lists and math problems as he works out how much air, food, and water he has and how long it will last. That k ...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 5* of five

The Publisher Says: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be
...more
Dan 1.0
When a freak dust storm scrubs the Ares 3 mission and Mark Watney is left for dead, he finds himself alone on Mars. Can he survive alone on an alien world until NASA is able to save him as his equipment breaks down and his supplies dwindle?

I have an aversion to any book that is over-hyped. Most of them wind up being crap and, besides, I already have more than enough things to read. Sometimes, you just have to stop being a stubborn asshole and let yourself get swept up in the hype of a critical d
...more
Will Byrnes
[I added a link to a relevant New Yorker article - 4/13/15]
I’m pretty much fucked.
Ok, show of hands. How many of you have uttered these exact words? (or words to that effect). Not everyone? I see we have some liars out there. How many have said them at least twice? Three times? Four? Those with hands still up, you probably need to make some adjustments to your approach, find a safer line of work, hobbies that do not entail long drops, stop trying the weekly specials at McBlowfish, or seek out
...more
Becky
If I ever get stranded on Mars, I'm fucked. Though, I guess I could say the same if I were to run off the road in a snowstorm, or lock my keys in the house or something. What I'm getting at here is that I am not a problem-solver who will be able to find a way to survive a crisis. If the coffee-maker stops working, and sarcasm and/or crying doesn't fix it, we might as well call in FEMA & the Red Cross, because there's a damn emergency here.

I absolutely loved this book. It's everything that I
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
After consideration I think this one deserves a "rave review". Oddly it's not one I've been planning to read. it's not one I was aware of. I completed a book yesterday that I was only "mildly" impressed with. I finished it and then wondered what to pick up. I have a couple of other books "going". There's a nonfiction, but I wasn't in the mood for a serious read.

I ran across this book in an update from a friend here. It was a good review, the synopsis looked interesting so I did the thing that h
...more
Lindsey Rey
Amazing. Incredible. Spectacular. Perfection. Loved it!

I seriously cannot recommend this book enough!
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Hmmmmmmm . . . how to best describe what The Martian is about . . .



Naaaaaah, not really. The best way I can think to explain it is if



and

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

had a delightful little mutant baby – you might end up with something along the lines of this novel.

(Sidenote: It was surprisingly difficult to find a RocketMan gif. Apparently the interwebs are full of people who prefer making mini-clips of Harland Williams dressed as a chick or smoking the Mary J
...more
Rabindranauth
I can’t believe this guy had so many potatoes and didn’t once try to distil vodka from it.

Mark Watney’s fucked. That’s his considered opinion. Fucked. After a particularly nasty sand storm, he’s been stranded on Mars. With communications effectively severed to Earth, there’s no way for anyone to know he’s alive, especially when all signs pointed to his death when the rest of his team managed to escape. The only bright light on the horizon; the next Mars mission is scheduled to arrive in 4 years.
...more
Liz*
Buddy read with Tanya, the procrastinator :D



The Martian is the story of a guy who after an unexpected incident gets stuck in Mars completely alone with limited food, water and oxygen. Most of the time you get to know Mark through his log entries. You'd think that would be boring, right? The unthinkable is, this guys is freaking hilarious. Like, let me be your best friend hilarious. At first all the technicalities and space stuff got me a little disoriented because (view spoiler)
...more
Carol.
Jan 31, 2015 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of astronauts, survival stories
Recommended to Carol. by: everyone
Shelves: male-lead, sci-fi

“Things didn’t go exactly as planned, but I’m not dead, so it’s a win.“

Mark Watney’s wry evaluation is essentially the summation of his attempts to survive on Mars. After a devastating and unexpected Martian hurricane-force storm wrecks havoc on the Martian crew, NASA calls for an ‘abort mission.’ As Mark is heading to the vehicle that will provide escape from Mars and return the crew to earth, he’s impaled by flying debris, loses consciousness and is presumed dead as the object impaled his suit
...more
Sanaa
[4.5 Stars] This book was so fabulous! I don't have much to add to what everyone else has already said about it, but if you think the synopsis sounds interesting you will really love this book. The writing includes quite a bit of science, but it is funny and Mark's personality really keeps you going throughout the entire book. I found myself rooting for him the entire way through. When awful things happened, I was at the edge of my seat waiting to see how Mark would handle the situation. I finis ...more
Thomas
How many exclamation points can you shove into one book?

Time to start off 2015 with an unpopular opinion: I did not like how Andy Weir wrote The Martian. He writes science well, and his background in research and technical prose shows, but by page 100 the style of the book got repetitive. Watney discovers a problem. Watney worries for a sentence or two. Watney comes up with a solution. Watney enacts the solution with minimal struggle. Watney celebrates. Rinse and repeat.

I also have no idea how W
...more
James Thane
Looking at things on the bright side, if you're the only human being on an entire planet, you've got an awful lot of elbow room. On the downside, though, if even the tiniest thing goes wrong, you could suddenly be up that well-known tributary without a paddle.

Mark Watney was part of a six-person crew that constituted the third manned expedition to Mars. The mission was to remain on the Red Planet for thirty-one days, but six days into their stay, a huge dust storm blew up with ferocious winds th
...more
Brendon Schrodinger
So I'm completely too late for the 'The Martian' bandwagon. It seems everyone has already read it with a smattering of really likes to the 'meh' verdicts.

What decided it for me was that one 'meh' (I think it was Louisa) said "Too much chemistry".

What?!

Being the huge chemistry nerd that I am it was a calling sign that I was probably going to enjoy it.

And boy was it fun.

The Martian tells the story of Mark Watney, abandoned for dead by his martian crew mates after an emergency when all his life si
...more
David Sven
I really did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did. I would have skipped it over completely except it was a Sword and Laser book club pick and I listened to Andy Weir read the beginning and I liked the tone and humour.

This is a Mars survival story - or as I have read some describe it "Macyver on Mars." It's set in the near future when there have already been two successful Mars landings with this being the third mission. The book opens with things having gone wrong. A freak storm and our pro
...more
Kaora
Who knew a book that taught you Math, Biology, Chemistry and Botany would be so much fun?

Mark Watney is an astronaut, who after a freak storm of 175 mph winds is left stranded on Mars. I was dubious at first about reading a book where the majority of the book is a soliloquy, but after reading rave review after rave review I decided to give it a shot.

No regrets! The Martian is witty and clever and kept me invested through the whole story. Watney is probably one of my favorite characters of all t
...more
Mara
Andy Weir (a bit of a self-publishing Cinderella, as I learned form Trudi's stellar review) has received a sufficient amount of well-deserved, gushing praise for The Martian that I don't feel terribly guilty for offering a montage of Archer gifs in lieu of a “real” review. However, first you'll have to permit me a moment to expound on the oft-drawn parallel between this book and Apollo 13 .

For the scientists and nerds among us, the greatness of Apollo 13 has little to do with the performa
...more
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“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.” 475 likes
“Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.” 216 likes
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