Alejandro's Reviews > The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir
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bookshelves: novel, science-fiction, politics, humor

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 plan survives first contact with implementation.

CNN: In your words, please tell us what do you think about the characters on The Martian?

R1: The characters is a strong element on this novel. There are several minor characters with really great moments like Rich Purnell and Mindy. Also the Hermes' crew is absolutely great. However, the main character, Mark Watney, while at first was quite great, at the end, it's a pill hard to swallow since it's like a weird combination of Einstein and Seinfeld. He recites too much scientific facts, math stuff, etc... in the middle of humoristic remarks. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the effort of making this story as realistic scientific possible but sometimes was like wanting to read a novel but ending with a college book. I am a Trekker geek/NASA fan, so technobabble is part of my life but even so, it came a moment in the novel that I wished that the author didn't explain me with so many details how all that was going to work and just do it! Also, while funny at first, I started to get pissed with Watney for his recurrent complains about entertainment material of his fellow crewmates. Everybody was able to pack laptops and/or USB drives with their own TV series, books and music, so why didn't you do the same Watney? If you are so brilliant to make so many repairs and adaptations, why didn't pack your own entertainment material of your preference and stop complaining of what other people likes?

We will be back after this quote...

Turns out even NASA can't improve on duct tape.

Welcome back to CNN's Reviewer One Report.

CNN: What do you think about the story on the novel?

R1: The premise of the story is a powerful one and quite attractive to get readers. It's amusing that on the synopsis is compared with "Apollo 13" meets "The Castaway". I guess that the author was already trying to get Tom Hanks for the imminent film adaptation. However, I think that this is much like "Gravity" taking the next step in difficulty. Sandra Bullock is left alone around orbit of Earth and trying to get back to the planet. Here, Mark Watney is left alone on Mars and trying to get back to Earth. I loved the tension on "Gravity" but you are only viewing the angle of Bullock, so I appreciate a lot that in this story after some chapters with only Watney, you starting to get chapters of what is going on back on Earth, in NASA, and also with the crew of the Hermes. Even better that the story involves the Chinese Space Program denoting that not only NASA is our only chance to get to the final frontier as a global society. That was vital to keep me hooked to the book.

We will be back after this quote...

My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain.

Welcome back to CNN's Reviewer One Report.

CNN: What do you think about the style of the novel?

R1: I like it since the author alternates regular paragraphs of text with some enhanced text simulating the communication used through electronics. If I have to criticize something, I humbly think that the use of flashback wasn't of my taste. I love non-linear stories, but here, I think that it could be better to introduce the whole crew and then knowing who is left behind, also, some "flashback paragraphs" inserted explaining in a slowly way how things that they were made will cause troubles on the story were unnecessary.

We will be back after this quote...

Astronauts are inherently insane. And very noble.

Welcome back to CNN's Reviewer One Report.

CNN: Closing our interview, what was your overall reading experience with the novel?

R1: I think that it could be quite better with fewer pages and/or less too much detailed explanations full of scientific facts impossibly to retain in your head. Also, after several twists and trials, you get to a point in the reading where the ending became predictable so, you still get to read a lot of pages just to confirm what you know has to happen or the whole novel would be a failure. Also, thinking about that subliminal obsession of having Tom Hanks in the stellar role, well, I think that one should add "Saving Private Ryan" since the premise here is the same of impossible to believe. On "Ryan", you have to believe that the US Government did the math that one mom between thousands had lost all her sons but one, so the Allied Forces will authorize a whole squadron to get out of the battlefield to one non-relevant soldier. Here, on The Martian, you have to believe that it's okay to spend hundreds of millions of dollars just to save one man's life. Even the author made a speech justifying that exposing that there supposedly billions of people who thinks that it's okay that. I think that that's the "illusion of control". You get better with yourself since your government was able to save one single life in another planet spending hundreds of millions of dollars while every single day, hundreds of people die for wars, hunger, crime, domestic violence, etc... around this world, but in that way we all can sleep at night. And don't get me wrong. I am a supporter of the Space Program but if shit happens, well, I don't think you should spend hundreds of millions of dollars in a diaper, or we won't be able to grow up as humankind and exploring outer space.

If I get left behind in another planet, don't worry for me, I will do a schedule to read books, watching films and TV series as much as possible the food, water and air may last and then I will take the lethal morfine shot. Sure, since I am Catholic, I don't know how I will get through Customs at Heaven but at least I wouldn't worry of being the reason of using hundred of millions of dollars that they may be used to take care for a lot of more people than only me.

Now that NASA can talk to me, they won't shut the hell up.

Nuff' said. Now I´ll shut up.





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Reading Progress

July 17, 2014 – Started Reading
July 17, 2014 – Shelved
July 23, 2014 – Shelved as: novel
July 23, 2014 – Shelved as: science-fiction
July 23, 2014 – Shelved as: politics
July 23, 2014 – Shelved as: humor
July 23, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 116 (116 new)


Rachel the Book Harlot Hi, Alejandro. :) How is it going with this one? I tried the sample, but somehow it didn't work for me. I think the premise is very intriguing, though.


Alejandro Rachel wrote: "Hi, Alejandro. :) How is it going with this one? I tried the sample, but somehow it didn't work for me. I think the premise is very intriguing, though."

Definitely the premise is its strongest angle. I already advanced like a 50% and so far it has been quite good but I have to admit that it's heavily charged with technobabble so while it's tainted with light pop humor, it's still too technobabble. While normally that it isn't an issue for me, I have appreciated that the story evolves to contain scenes in other places like NASA on Earth and the Hermes ship returning, since if the book would be only involving Mark Watney's point of view, I'd getting tired after a while.


Alejandro Rachel wrote: "Hi, Alejandro. :) How is it going with this one? I tried the sample, but somehow it didn't work for me. I think the premise is very intriguing, though."

And it wasn't that I wouldn't enjoy the technobabble, since I am a Trekker/NASA fan, but even so, there were moments that it was too much, but so far, the book is quite good and I want to finish it :)


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I love this review, Alejandro! Very well done. :)


message 5: by Zoeytron (new) - added it

Zoeytron Stellar review, Alejandro!


Alejandro Derek wrote: "I love this review, Alejandro! Very well done. :)"

Thank you so much, Derek! I appreciate a lot your kind comments!


Alejandro Zoeytron wrote: "Stellar review, Alejandro!"

Hahaha ;) Thank you, Zoeytron!


LeeAnne Alejandro, I just started this book, could not get into it & gave up. I feel less guilty seeing your 3 star rating! Thank you!


message 9: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason Koivu Great review, Alejandro!


Alejandro LeeAnne wrote: "Alejandro, I just started this book, could not get into it & gave up. I feel less guilty seeing your 3 star rating! Thank you!"

Hahaha, happy to help you to enforce your decision of droping the novel :P


message 11: by Alejandro (last edited Jul 23, 2014 04:23PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Alejandro Jason wrote: "Great review, Alejandro!"

Thank you, Jason! I appreciate a lot your appraisal!


Jasmine Clever reviewing there. Nice work.


Alejandro Helen wrote: "Clever reviewing there. Nice work."

Thank you so much, Helen! ;) I appreciate your comment!


message 14: by Florencia (new)

Florencia Now this is an amazing and very original review, Alejandro! You are always giving us great pieces of writing to enjoy.


Alejandro Florencia wrote: "Now this is an amazing and very original review, Alejandro! You are always giving us great pieces of writing to enjoy."

Thank you, Florencia ;) I am truly glad that you enjoyed the review :D


message 16: by Shaun (new) - added it

Shaun Also, after several twists and trials, you get to a point in the reading where the ending became predictable so, you still get to read a lot of pages just to confirm what you know has to happen of the whole novel would be a failure

I hate when this happens. Good review, Alejandro.


message 17: by Alejandro (last edited Jul 23, 2014 05:56PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Alejandro Shaun wrote: "Also, after several twists and trials, you get to a point in the reading where the ending became predictable so, you still get to read a lot of pages just to confirm what you know has to happen or ..."

Yes, it makes the book as anti-climatic all of the sudden. Thank you, Shaun! I appreciate your comment!


message 18: by Armina (new) - added it

Armina I very much like the approach you have chosen for this review, Alejandro. I love 'interview' type reviews. They are always quite entertaining. Kudos! :)

Also, I appreciate all the movie references you have made.

All in all, I plan to read this sometime in the next two months and I'm kinda disappointed it's only 3 stars for you but good to know. :)


Alejandro Armina wrote: "I very much like the approach you have chosen for this review, Alejandro. I love 'interview' type reviews. They are always quite entertaining. Kudos! :)

Also, I appreciate all the movie reference..."


Hi, Armina! Thank you so much for your kind comments. I am glad that you enjoyed the review :)

Oh by all means, I am happy to know that you will read the novel :) Two people never read the same book. If this novel happened at the end not so rewarding to me as I was expecting it doesn't mean that you won't enjoy it totally!

I'll be way glad to read your thoughts about the book whenever you'd be able to read it.


message 20: by Maria (new)

Maria A space odyssey to Alejandro's great review! Sounds like you already have your plan settled in another planet! :)


message 21: by Connie (new)

Connie G Your very creative review made me smile, Alejandro. Great work!


Michael Outstanding review in every way. Entertaining, informative, incisive on flaws, and thoughtful in comparing to other book and movie plots. Still, I must read it because of its place in the tradition of Mars books, and in doing so I will slip past some of those sections full of information dumps and brace myself for Whatley's whining. If his humor wears thin, I could always bail.


message 23: by Paul (new)

Paul Nelson Like it, great review. Trekker geek :)


message 24: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan Creative review. Thanks.


message 25: by Debbie (new) - added it

Debbie Oh this was so much fun to read! What a great review!


message 26: by Wanda (last edited Jul 24, 2014 10:45AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Wanda Fabulous review, Alejandro! I envy your creativity!


Alejandro Maria wrote: "A space odyssey to Alejandro's great review! Sounds like you already have your plan settled in another planet! :)"

Dum...dum...dum dum! ;) We have the epic music, now we just need the obelisk and some apes battling for it ;) Hehehe.

Thanks a lot, Maria! It was great to read your comments! :D


Alejandro Connie wrote: "Your very creative review made me smile, Alejandro. Great work!"

So glad to hear, Connie! :D Thanks a lot for reading it!


Alejandro Michael wrote: "Outstanding review in every way. Entertaining, informative, incisive on flaws, and thoughtful in comparing to other book and movie plots. Still, I must read it because of its place in the traditi..."

Thank you so much, Michael! I deeply thank you for such great appraisal coming from you.

Oh by all means, please read the novel! :) Two people never read the same book. I have no hard feeling to the author or the book, so I would be glad if you ended enjoying the book. I will be delighted to read your own review about the novel whenever you'd be able to read it.


Alejandro Paul wrote: "Like it, great review. Trekker geek :)"

Hahaha ;) Long live and prosper, Paul! :D


Alejandro Dhanaraj wrote: "Creative review. Thanks."

Thank you, Dhanaraj! :D


Alejandro Debbie wrote: "Oh this was so much fun to read! What a great review!"

Thank you, Debbie! ;) Glad to hear that you enjoyed it, hehehe.


Alejandro Wanda wrote: "Fabulous review, Alejandro! I envy your creativity!"

Much appreciated, Wanda! :)


message 34: by Maria (new)

Maria Alejandro wrote: "Maria wrote: "A space odyssey to Alejandro's great review! Sounds like you already have your plan settled in another planet! :)"

Dum...dum...dum dum! ;) We have the epic music, now we just need th..."


...and don't forget about the monolith too! Cheers!


Alejandro Maria wrote: "Alejandro wrote: "Maria wrote: "A space odyssey to Alejandro's great review! Sounds like you already have your plan settled in another planet! :)"

Dum...dum...dum dum! ;) We have the epic music, n..."


How could I? ;)


Rachel the Book Harlot Wonderful review, Alejandro!


Alejandro Rachel wrote: "Wonderful review, Alejandro!"

Thank you, Rachel! :)

Did you decide to re-take the book or not?


message 38: by Jareed (new) - added it

Jareed Houston, we have found an out of this world reviewer!

Wonderfully creative reviews with excellent points of analysis and comparisons! Another great piece Alejandro!


Nicole~ Absolutely imaginative and entertaining review, Alejandro! The out of this world reviewer award goes to you, congrats!


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

This review is fantastic. I don't know how I missed it, but bravah my friend!


message 41: by Debbie (new) - added it

Debbie Completely outdid yourself with this review! Bravo!!
(Stands..claps..)
Bravo!!!


Alejandro Jareed wrote: "Houston, we have found an out of this world reviewer!

Wonderfully creative reviews with excellent points of analysis and comparisons! Another great piece Alejandro!"


Hehehe, thank you so much, my friend, Jareed! ;) I appreciate a lot your kind appraisals!


Alejandro Nicole~ wrote: "Absolutely imaginative and entertaining review, Alejandro! The out of this world reviewer award goes to you, congrats!"

Hehehe ;) Thank you so much, Nicole! You're too kind!


Alejandro Kat Stark wrote: "This review is fantastic. I don't know how I missed it, but bravah my friend!"

Hehe, thanks Kat! ;) Truly glad that you catched it ;)

I appreciate a lot your kind words! :D


Alejandro Debbie wrote: "Completely outdid yourself with this review! Bravo!!
(Stands..claps..)
Bravo!!!"


Thank you so much, Debbie! I means a lot coming from you! :)


Rachel the Book Harlot Alejandro wrote: "Did you decide to re-take the book or not?"

No, I think I'm going to pass on this one. I don't mind the technobabble, but I think the MC's voice would drive me crazy.


Alejandro Rachel wrote: "Alejandro wrote: "Did you decide to re-take the book or not?"

No, I think I'm going to pass on this one. I don't mind the technobabble, but I think the MC's voice would drive me crazy."


Cool :)


Jeffrey Keeten Wonderfully creative review! I loved the technobabble in this book. :-) It woke up the science geek part of my brain. I loved the way Weir took circumstances from "no way I'm dead" to "wow that could work". A+ for the extra effort on this one Alejandro!


Alejandro Jeffrey wrote: "Wonderfully creative review! I loved the technobabble in this book. :-) It woke up the science geek part of my brain. I loved the way Weir took circumstances from "no way I'm dead" to "wow that cou..."

Hi, Jeffrey! Oh, indeed the technobabble in the book is priceless, it was just that sometimes, it could be better to tame it and not explaining so much, a better balance or a shorter book. I don't know.

I appreciate a lot your kind appraisals for my review :)


message 50: by Kim (new) - added it

Kim U rock!! Love this review!!! LOVE!!!


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