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The Martian
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Book Discussions > December 2015 Book of the Month: The Martian

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message 1: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (persephone17) Hello, Iggles and happy holidays! I hope everyone is doing well, and I'm excited to announce our final book of the year. This month's theme was a author's first book, and you guys chose The Martian by Andy Weir. This will be an exciting read for book club, because it's been a huge deal in the geek world the past year or two. Here's the synopsis:

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 and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

As always, post your discussion thoughts, questions or reviews after you've finished. I'm excited to see what everyone thinks - also, if you've already read this, feel free to comment your feelings/thoughts now.

Samantha (samanyaaron) | 146 comments I really loved this book, I didn't understand about 75% of it but I loved Marks character. Continually made me laugh.

Lindsey (naommah) Loved this book too! I totally pictured Matt Damon the whole time although i didn't see the movie til after i read the book.

Myrthe (myrtheasdf) I loved this book as well, it was an amazingly interesting (and geeky) read!

Monica Fastenau | 6 comments I was really surprised at how funny this book was! Mark is a great character, funny and full of ingenuity. I loved the book AND the movie, which is unusual for me. :)

Sonia Totally loved this book. I'm amazed how accessible it is while it was a "hard science" kind of sci-fi story at the beginning. And the humour in it was great. Very happy that I picked it up.

Simay Yildiz (zimlicious) | 33 comments Very much enjoyed this book! Has anyone seen the movie yet? I wanna check it out.

message 8: by Cass (new) - added it

Cass | 9 comments I thought this one was ok, but I didn't really click with Watney and the story.

@Lindsey Good call!

@Simay Did you see the stories about people thinking the movie was based on a true story??

Desiree (dezpresso) | 1 comments I am only 56 pages in but I am loving it so far. Oddly it reminds me of Ready Player One. Might be the writing structure.

Lindsey (naommah) @Simay I've seen it. It is probably, imo, one of the closest following book inspired movies I have seen. But of course you lose much of the struggle still. Just a few things that were different. Still enjoyed it for the disco comments above all heheh.

@S What! A true story?! Oh my..... I missed Watney Watch darn.

Simay Yildiz (zimlicious) | 33 comments @S: Yes! It baffles me how people are too lazy to just type something into Google!

@Lindsey: Good to hear! I will check it out when I get a chance :)

Jennifer It seems like this book is marmite, you either love it or hate it. I really didn't like it. It's one of the few books I've rated 1 star (only because there isn't a 1.5 and it's definitely not worth a 2)

I think it all depends on the humour in the book, if you like Watney then the book will be really enjoyable. But, I didn't like him. He came across as quite rude and obnoxious, so I couldn't gather any interest in him, which is a shame as I wanted to enjoy the story.

I did enjoy the science parts though.

I'm going to watch the film to see if it improves the book, and also to annoy my boyfriend as he hated this book even more than I did.

Sonia Absolutely love The Martian. I haven't come across a character I root for this much for a really long time. And I just love Mark Watney. I'm terrible at all things science but this book makes it so approachable... Not that I understand how things work but at least I get the gist easily.

And I agree with Jennifer ... Since it's told almost entirely from Watney's perspective, his character either makes it or breaks it for the reader. Let's just say it's lucky that I love the character and enjoyed the book a lot.

Desiree (dezpresso) | 1 comments Oh man, there were quite a few times that I was like "Damn this guy cannot catch a break" and because of that when it would switch to the Hermes crew's views I was like "Oh god oh god oh god, no I don't like where this is going, no..."

It felt like I was holding my breath through the last part because I was like "Watch they get him and then the ship blows up or something". I would have died.

message 15: by Fay (new) - added it

Fay Roberts Despite an overwhelming desire to read this book I've put it off and put it off for ages. I just didn't think I could cope with the level of anxiety it was sure to cause me. I can't stand "high-octane" thrillers, I'm more of a "lets meander and see how it goes" kind of 'gal. Reading Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void had fueled my desire even more so when it was chosen I was pleased because now I had to read it. Despite the high levels of anxiety Weir's clever pacing and scientific details made it bearable for me. I have to admit I was a bit teary at the end though. And I loved Mark. Such an awesome narrator and all round smart guy. The clever use of the NASA psychologist explaining why Mark had been chosen for the mission made him believable as a person. Just wonderful. And seen as I'm a little bit in love with Mark and a little bit in love with Matt Damon I can't wait to see the film.

Lindsey (naommah) Found a bit on Weir's website as a prequel to the book!
Pretty short but maybe you'll like it.

Diary of an AssCan: A Mark Watney Short Story

message 17: by Trina (new) - added it

Trina (190nerd) | 17 comments I seriously enjoyed this book. it was such a wonderful and detailed read. I also read it with my mechanic fiance so it made it that much better.

message 18: by Trina (new) - added it

Trina (190nerd) | 17 comments @lindsey omgoodness thanks for the sharing the link it was great.

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