I just picked this book up the other day and dove right in. I doubt I'll be reading the whole thing all at once, I like to slowly enjoy short story coI just picked this book up the other day and dove right in. I doubt I'll be reading the whole thing all at once, I like to slowly enjoy short story collections one at a time, but I'll update as I read more.
We Can Remember it for You Wholesale (3.5/5 Stars)
The inspiration for the film, Total Recall, was quite a bit different than expected. It starts about the same, but for a 22 or so page short story it can't begin to go to the lengths the movie goes as far as plot ... goes. I liked it, but the movie is way better. It builds on the great premise of this short story and I'm so glad it does since there's really not too much to this story besides presenting an interesting idea....more
Five stars for pure entertainment and because math made it suspenseful.
That's right, math made it thrilling. Look at it this way, you're stranded onFive stars for pure entertainment and because math made it suspenseful.
That's right, math made it thrilling. Look at it this way, you're stranded on a planet that's essentially trying to kill you. You could just keel over and die ... like I would most likely do in the same situation, or you could figure out how to stay alive.
Start with the math. NASA planned for 30 days worth of food for 6 people. The next time someone will be on the planet is in 4 years. Even rationing that food only gets you a little over a year's worth.
Wait, what if you can't even contact someone to tell them you're alive and need to be rescued, more math.
Knowing how long until you're dead is the suspense.
Couple entertaining math (how is this even possible?) with one of the best characters ever created, Mark Watney, and you have an insanely great story.
Mark Watney is an absolutely hilarious character, especially coupled with the situation he's in (stranded on Mars) and with whom he's dealing (NASA, aka the smartest people ever).
Exchanges like this are that much funnier when it's freaking NASA he's talking to:
“[11:49] JPL: What we can see of your planned cut looks good. We’re assuming the other side is identical. You’re cleared to start drilling. [12:07] Watney: That’s what she said. [12:25] JPL: Seriously, Mark? Seriously?”
Probably the best part is that it's not cause he's going crazy from being alone for so long, it's just how he is and that's awesome.
I not only thought of Watney as a close friend, but I felt like I lived on Mars in this book. You're constantly aware of how much depends on every little thing not screwing up, how dependent someone is on things we take for granted on a planet that's actually hospitable to life. And then everything goes wrong.
Which brings me to really the only kind of awkward thing about the book. With the way it's set up (through log entries and third person omniscient when not with Watney), Andy Weir kind of has to go out of his way to tell you how things are going wrong. Suddenly, you're brought out of the narrative to be informed how the constant pressure on one area caused the wearing down of material and suddenly ... HUGE problem occurs.
Otherwise, I had a blast with this book. The narration by R.C. Bray was top notch. Not that I know anything different, but he nailed the sarcasm and wit of Watney and made this book go more than smoothly. I thought of him as Watney and completely forgot about the narration. That's when you know it's good.
This is one of those audiobooks I finished in such a short time because it's all I wanted to do. I usually have audiobooks for the commute, but this is one you find yourself listening to at every possible moment. That's when I know I've found gold. Eureka, put down what you're reading and jump on The Martian train (I haven't lost my metaphors have I?).
5 out of 5 Stars (Cause everything worked together to make this one damn fine read)...more