Julio Genao's Reviews > The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir
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it was ok

dan brown syndrome.

description

which is to say, this guy has a knack for a compelling idea, but his writing is...

hoo, boy.

just... brutal.

no soul.

no poetry.

all the verve of a dead body.

or a software engineer...

description

just kidding, my gorgeous software-engineer-buddies: i was teasing the author, who is one of you, not you in particular or, y'know, in general, please don't hex my laptop because you are my everything, all i want for christmas is you, i can't live if living is without you.

*winsome smile*

but yeah, i'll give you a quick example:

look at that cover.

look at how evocative it is. how it speaks of being caught up in a great rushing torrent of powers beyond your control. how it speaks of being marooned.

how it speaks of being alone.

welp, this book is just like that, except without any of the things i just described.

the man doesn't even get around to really describing what mars looks like until somewhere after the 68 percent mark.

mars!!!

one of the most romantic planets in our solar system!

description

weir's not havin' it.

ain't nobody got time fo scene-setting or sensory input; let's learn about air scrubbers, hilariously inexpensive celestial transport*, and potato farming, instead.

but still.

the story—the bones of it, the structure, the plot—great fun.

and i love a good macguyver arc, not trynna lie.

it's good stuff.

just, like...

not-especially well-written, is all.

naturally, the film is spectacular.


________________________



*seriously. i was so annoyed by how cheap everything was i went on an imessage rampage pointing out which terrestrial american aircraft cost ten times as much as the surely trillion dollar mars-to-orbit craft weir prices like he's the home shopping network. $200 million sounds like a lot, until you find out that there's a piece of software running the windscreen wipers on a b2 stealth bomber that costs more than andy weir's entire spacecraft.

aaaaaaand for the nitty-gritty of where i thought this novel failed as a novel, which i chose to express in catty gifs instead of catty words as usual, go read this guy. he says what i would have said if i weren't so anxious to go read queer avengers fanfic right now.
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Reading Progress

August 20, 2015 – Started Reading
August 20, 2015 – Shelved
August 20, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 52 (52 new)


message 1: by Leo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leo Robertson AHAHAHA!! That first gif... pure artistry on your part! I totally agree.

Weir has made engineering sexy for a generation of youths- and they're gonna need it! #PotatoFTW

At work, even when someone is very passionate about what they're explaining, I often wonder why it's so easy for them to make engineering tedious! So I was surprised/glad to see this book so popular...


Mandapanda Haha! That's a coincidence. I was just reading your review of this book when you liked my review...


[Name Redacted] So what you're saying is that Weir did about as much research as Dan Brown did? XD


Julio Genao Leo wrote: "So I was surprised/glad to see this book so popular..."

i am distinctly pro-science and pro-knowledge, so i feel the same way. i'm really glad this book has made an enormous audience very happy—but fucked if i understand how.

i think he's got the writerly chops of a rutabaga.


Julio Genao MandyM wrote: "Haha! That's a coincidence. I was just reading your review of this book when you liked my review..."

i always try to read everyone's reviews after i've written mine—i love opinion, especially dissenting opinion, and i love the act of trying to make sense of a text, and how different people go about it. it's one of my favorite aspects of goodreads culture :-)


Julio Genao [Name Redacted] wrote: "So what you're saying is that Weir did about as much research as Dan Brown did? XD"

i'm saying that a couple chemistry jokes and a smattering of poo humor does not effective characterization make. mark watney read like stoned lab assistant, not a man MAROONED ON THE BRINK OF DEATH ON A LIFELESS PLANET MONTHS BEYOND THE REACH OF MAN.


message 7: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami *with teeny tiny voice*

... but I loved Dan Brown (well, I only read The Da Vinci Code) which naturally I loved this one

*runs away from the wind machine*


Julio Genao you don't have to run away! that was a crazy fun story.

basically, i had the exact same problem with the writing in that book as in this one—amazingly good ideas (great movie)—but the writing was...

gosh.

i didn't like it at all, ami. at all.


Lady*M This book gave me so much joy. It's a feel-good story that makes you think: 'wow, there are people out there actually using their brains' and 'maybe humanity is not a cesspit of destruction and hate'. Plus...



And, I cannot wait for the movie. :)


Julio Genao yay! i'm glad you enjoyed it. i know certain parts of it kept me flippin' dem pages long into the night...

and as for the movie—woot! almost here!!!


[Name Redacted] julio wrote: "you don't have to run away! that was a crazy fun story.

basically, i had the exact same problem with the writing in that book as in this one—amazingly good ideas (great movie)—but the writing was...."


But that book's ideas are as historically and academically accurate as is the pricing of the space-ship in this book! XD


Mandapanda I'm really impressed that you guys are debating about the current cost of a spaceship. That's way more research than I do for a review! ;)


message 13: by Rappelle (new)

Rappelle Did someone say....POTATOES?
(view spoiler)


[Name Redacted] Rappelle wrote: "Did someone say....POTATOES?


"


Boil 'em! Mash 'em! Stick 'em in a stew!


Julio Genao [Name Redacted] wrote: "But that book's ideas are as historically and academically accurate as is the pricing of the space-ship in this book! XD"

well, yeah. but I dinged that book much less for that than for horrendous perversions of the language.

i got hella ragey analclench trying to read that puppy. just terrible.


Julio Genao MandyM wrote: "I'm really impressed that you guys are debating about the current cost of a spaceship. That's way more research than I do for a review! ;)"

I am an aeronautics nerd—

*waits for raucous laughter to subside*

—fine, I am an everything nerd. so I happened to know how much an f-22 raptor cost, or a Boeing 787, or GulfStream 650.

no research required; just a memory for how much that huckster creflo dollar wanted his congregation to "tithe" to pay for his new private jet.


Julio Genao Rappelle wrote: "Did someone say....POTATOES?"

IN SPAAAAAAAAACE.


[Name Redacted] julio wrote: "[Name Redacted] wrote: "But that book's ideas are as historically and academically accurate as is the pricing of the space-ship in this book! XD"

well, yeah. but I dinged that book much less for t..."


That's fair. I'm a scholar of Ancient Judaism & Early Christianity, so I get that way about Dan Brown. I've had colleagues who kicked students out of class because they kept asking inane questions about things from the Da Vinci Code which were historical inaccuracies but which students assumed were FACT! because, like, they were in a book and a movie, right?


Julio Genao I'm going to get in as much trouble for this as I am for the software engineer joke, but—

once you tell me the plot involves biblical arcana, my mind automatically re-shelves the book as 'fantasy'

I felt no need to hold the story up to any particular standard, after that.

and seriously, software engineer buddies, it was just a joke, I love you guys, I am a Mac guy and when I read Microserfs a part of me wanted to move to Redmond, please don't send me malware to scrape dick pics from my phone and attach them to bogus audition videos sent to Malaysia's Got Talent, ok


message 20: by Igor (new)

Igor Ljubuncic I like your quiet rage. It's energizing!
Igor


Julio Genao thank you, Igor. I aim to please.

angrily.


message 22: by Lena♥Ribka (new) - added it

Lena♥Ribka Oh yeah, this one...I tried to read it too, but didn't come too far to discuss the plot, I know only that I couldn't get warm with the writing. My only reason I decided to come back to it some day in the future was because many readers, and among them my GR friends whom I normally trust, enjoyed it.


Julio Genao you are not alone. it was sometimes difficult for me to feel engaged with it, also


Racheal "mark watney read like stoned lab assistant"- THIS. Fun as shit story, but you can't be in that situation alone for that long and not have it take a major emotional toll. I felt the lack of world building too, but this was the biggest problem I had with the story..


Julio Genao you guys, check out the latest trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej3io...

now THAT is evocative.

all of that.

that's what was missing from the actual writing.

i can't fuckin' wait.


Julio Genao Racheal wrote: "I felt the lack of world building too, but this was the biggest problem I had with the story."

i commented on someone else's review: it had the emotional impact of a set of IKEA instructions.

thank god for filmmakers.


Mandapanda julio wrote: "you guys, check out the latest trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej3io...

now THAT is evocative.

all of that.

that's what was missing from the actual writing.

i can't fuckin' wait."


Got chills!!! Can't wait....


Julio Genao *dances around nakedly*


eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!


Susan May I can't wait for the film either. I actually liked the book. If it's a good idea, I don't pay as much attention to the writing. Dan Brown, a case in point for sure. However, someone did point out recently about the potatoes, like how did he water them and why did he have to plant the all at once? Why couldn't he just plant a whole bunch, then replant after he'd eaten? Possibly an editing issue with his book, more than him.

Love the memes! lol. I think SevenEves might be going to read The Martian next, according to him, he's been to Mars, done that and thinks it's quite the bore. And says the weather is atrocious.


Julio Genao *gasps*

(view spoiler)


message 31: by KimberlyRose (new)

KimberlyRose Dan brown syndrome. Exactly. I couldn't understand WHY I didn't like his books, which sounded so awesomesauce. But, that's exactly it.

Enjoyable and informative review, Julio.


Julio Genao thank you very much for saying so, kimmy-coo!


Natalie Dude. Do you have any problems with software engineers?


Julio Genao nah. I juz keeeeeeeddeeng. see comment 19


Carmen Your review is accurate and on-point, Julio. I felt the same way.


Julio Genao thanks. sorry you didn't enjoy it either :-/


message 37: by Lostaccount (last edited Oct 05, 2015 05:50AM) (new)

Lostaccount I started reading this long before it was being made into a movie and I didn't think enough of it to bother reading more than about twenty pages. Just another Robinson Crusoe on Mars story and badly written. You can tell the guy isn't a writer but a typist, to paraphrase Capote. Now all of sudden, it's everybody's favourite book. WTF?


Julio Genao he wrote it as a series of blog posts first, and it shows.


[Name Redacted] julio wrote: "he wrote it as a series of blog posts first, and it shows."

Huh. I don't know if that's true, but it would certainly make a LOT of sense...


message 40: by Lostaccount (new)

Lostaccount julio wrote: "he wrote it as a series of blog posts first, and it shows."

Ah, I didn't know that. Well, that explains a lot.


message 41: by Jasmine (new) - added it

Jasmine Thank you for this!


Julio Genao cheers :-)


message 43: by Ayanna (new)

Ayanna Friends of mine who've experienced The Martian recommended I listen to the audiobook instead of trying to read it because of the way it's formatted, in an audio-log format. They said that it can get tedious trying to read it, partially because it's not really formatted to be read.


Julio Genao I can totally see that working out much better. also, hey, you ❤️❤️❤️


Laxmama That was a wonderful review, personal, containing emotion and actual humor- none of which I got out of reading the book.


Julio Genao oooooh, burn.

and thanks :-)


message 47: by arfic (iro) (new)

arfic (iro) Great (as in highly entertaining) review as always! But what I wanna ask is: Where can I find this avengers queer fanfic? Cause I've run out of things to aid my procrastinating and we can't have that. I may end up doing stuff I should be doing, become successful and the world isn't ready for that...
plus I could use some queer Toni Stark any day


Julio Genao I loved this one—and many, many others by the same author:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 49: by arfic (iro) (new)

arfic (iro) Thanks julio!


Julio Genao anytime :-)


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