K.'s Reviews > The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir
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's review
Nov 22, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2015, adventure, own-it-kindle, sci-fi, setting-space, audience-adult, 2017, favourites
Read 3 times. Last read April 15, 2017 to April 18, 2017.

Oh, Mark Watney. Hilarious dork trapped on Mars. This is hilarious and action packed and tense and feelsy all at the same time. Is it occasionally predictable as far as things going horribly wrong? Yes. Is it also utterly delightful and very, very readable? Uh, yeah.

(Just don't pick up the Young Readers' edition with all the swear words taken out because one of my students informed me that it makes literally no sense because they've basically just deleted entire lines but then not checked if it makes sense any more. So Mark will make some nothing comment about the weather or whatever and Houston will tell him to watch his language. Bad copy editors. BAD.)

4.5 stars.

All I knew about this when I bought it was that there was a forthcoming movie version starring Matt Damon, and that a lot of people were reading it and were very, very excited by it. And then it sat on my Kindle for several months untouched. I've been on something of a sci fi kick this month, so I figured it was about time I picked this one up. And it was pretty stinking glorious.

It doesn't sound like it should be. I mean, a guy get stranded on Mars. He has to survive with what he has without knowing if anyone even knows he's alive, let alone if there's a rescue mission in progress. There's a lot of stuff that SHOULD be incredibly boring about how Mark's going to stretch his food supplies, how he's going to restore communications with Earth, how he manages to make more water, how he drives hundreds of kilometres across Mars, peeing into a box.

It should be boring. It's fairly scientific, and there's a lot of potentially unnecessary detail that's almost step-by-step "first, I did this. Then I did this. Then I did this." It really SHOULD be boring. But it wasn't. I was glued to the page (screen) from start to finish. Mark is a great character, full of humour and smarts, and I kind of adored him. The chapters away from him, whether set on the Hermes or back on Earth gave a whole new level of tension to the story, too.

I'm taking off half a star solely because as the story progressed, it became a little bit "Oh no, I'm going to die. Okay, let's work out how to fix the thing. Yay, I fixed the thing! I'm not going to die!! [two days later] Oh shit, I fucked up. I'm going to die"-esque. Like, it reached a point where everything had been going too well for too long, and CLEARLY he was going to run into a life threatening obstacle. But on the whole, this was really freaking great, and I'm now very interested to see the movie and compare the two.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Kindle Edition)
November 22, 2015 – Shelved
November 23, 2015 – Started Reading
November 23, 2015 –
page 80
November 24, 2015 –
page 285
November 25, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015
November 25, 2015 – Shelved as: adventure
November 25, 2015 – Shelved as: own-it-kindle
November 25, 2015 – Shelved as: sci-fi
November 25, 2015 – Finished Reading
April 19, 2016 – Shelved as: setting-space
August 17, 2016 – Shelved as: audience-adult
April 15, 2017 – Started Reading
April 15, 2017 – Shelved (Kindle Edition)
April 15, 2017 –
page 24
April 16, 2017 –
page 65
April 17, 2017 –
page 103
April 18, 2017 – Finished Reading
April 24, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017
October 2, 2017 – Shelved as: favourites

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