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The Martian
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2014 Reads > TM: The humor in this book is just great

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Gordon (daftyman) | 28 comments I started reading this today and time and time again I am smiling at the humour in this book. from the outside it could be a real gritty dour but about survival, but what I am loving is the dark humour.
Sitting in a bar and being worried that I'm going to snort in my beer (Piledriver, a beer created by/in honour of Status Quo, for What Am I Drinking fans), just added to my enjoyment. Only a tenth of the way through but looking forward to the rest.

I assume I'm not alone in this?


Gordon (daftyman) | 28 comments book, not but about survival. Blame the Piledriver and typing on a Nexus 7


Cliff | 69 comments I know that I felt pretty self-conscious whenever I would burst into guffaws while sitting at my desk during my lunch break.

If you are only 1/10th of the way in, I don't even think you've really hit upon some of his best moments yet.

I think Mark needed to keep his sense of humor in order to maintain his sanity and Andy Weir did a good job of verbalizing it.


Kristina | 588 comments I had several laugh out loud moments... Loved this book!


Heather | 28 comments I admittedly struggled with the humor at first, but I warmed up to it the more I read, until I was giggling aloud about halfway through.

In the beginning, it seemed odd to me that he was cracking jokes while in such a dire situation, but as it goes on, you realize that it is just his personality and how he handles difficult situations.


terpkristin | 4120 comments I have issues with the book, but I am guessing that Weir spent a good bit of time hanging out with engineers in preparing to write this book. Or maybe he has a lot of engineer friends. He has our snark down pat.


message 7: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 9 comments I loved the humor. I listened to this book earlier this week during a drive halfway across the US. It lasted me two days of my three day drive, and so it was great to hear it. I was laughing at every joke, and halfway in my trip I was doing I was already recommending it to my friends. His sense of humor came off right away for me as it meshes into the sense of humor I'm used to among my family and friends, probably why I liked it so much and was able to attach to it right away.

Yeah, the humor was definitely a defense mechanism for Mark to deal with the dire situation he was in. I listened to the whole book and part of me was curious about how it all looked in text.


Tamahome | 6118 comments terpkristin wrote: "I have issues with the book, but I am guessing that Weir spent a good bit of time hanging out with engineers in preparing to write this book. Or maybe he has a lot of engineer friends. He has our s..."

Besides the antenna?


Fiona (deifio) | 95 comments This kind of dark humour defense mechanism always reminds me of the TV series M*A*S*H. I guess if you're in a really bad situation, this sort of humour keeps you sane.


Michael Holm (michs342) | 11 comments I really enjoy the humour in this book.

I was a bit afraid that all the tech stuff would be to dry, but mixed in with this dark humour and how Mark responds to his situation is hilarious.

Don't get me wrong I like tech stuff and space travel but 300+ pages of just that would have been boring in a fictional book, but Andy seems to have found a good mix of explaining all the technology and engineering stuff in the book, but still keeping it interesting.


Rob Secundus (quintessential_defenestration) | 1035 comments In the interview episode Weir mentioned that he was able to get away with some poor writing through the usage of a humorous narrator. I don't think that's true at all now-- the humor isn't something that seems to cover up bits of the story, pasted on to distract us. It's so central to the book. It's why we care so much about Mark-- he's not only inspiringly resourceful, he's goddamn hilarious. Mark is someone we all want to know, and we all hope to be like.

The book is excellent. I've been laughing or cheering all the way to work and back these past few days.


message 12: by Eric (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments In the thread where I asked if the book was Sword and Lasered (which got mentioned on the podcast, yay!) I wrote that when I heard about the book I didn't want to read it, but after Weir's reading I *did* want to read it. That's because I tend not to like depressing stories and what's more depressing than being stranded without a chance of rescue? I'm about 12% through the book (doing percents since I'm reading the ebook) and I absolutely love the humor. It makes the book enjoyable and makes me want to skip work to read it.


Julian Arce | 71 comments The humour was great, from the first glimpse I was smiling, and then had to clench my teeth not laugh (was reading at work).

It makes it all sound somehow more fresh, and has you really rooting for the protagonist.


Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments I cannot tell you how funny it is in audio. R.C. Bray becomes Mark and gets his humor down perfectly. I'd be listening through my earphone and just start laughing. It's a good thing I was alone.


Shaina (shainaeg) | 165 comments Yes! The humor and voice are great, they made this book zoom by.


Stephanie Griffin | 49 comments I am LOVING the audiobook! Only 35 minutes left...I really care about Mark! In between laughing because of his humor and being terrified he won't make it off of Mars, this is the best book I've read all year.


Tiffany (tiffanyfarrantgonzalez) | 18 comments I don't think I've laughed so hard or held my breath as many times as I did with this book! Watney's internal monologues are some of the funniest I've ever read.


terpkristin | 4120 comments Interesting. I can't listen to the audiobook. The characters have the appropriate amount of snark for engineers. Unfortunately listening makes me feel like I'm in a meeting at work.


message 19: by Jeff (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeff Namadan (jnamadan) | 218 comments terpkristin wrote: "Interesting. I can't listen to the audiobook. The characters have the appropriate amount of snark for engineers. Unfortunately listening makes me feel like I'm in a meeting at work."

LOL. Was wondering how you would feel with this as it would hit too close to home.


message 20: by J.J. (new) - rated it 4 stars

J.J. Litke (jenzgoodreads) Dark humor is the best way to cope with adversity (IMO).

Huh, I just had a sudden thought that this has a lot to do with why I don't like grimdark (I'm sure it's not all humorless, but dark without humor is a big fat no for me). This also explains why I didn't really enjoy Ancillary Justice. AIs have zero sense of humor.


Rob Secundus (quintessential_defenestration) | 1035 comments Ok, watley's narration continues to be hilarious but (view spoiler)


Stephanie Griffin | 49 comments Jenz wrote: "This also explains why I didn't really enjoy Ancillary Justice. AIs have zero sense of humor."

Right! It felt like something was missing in AJ, but it would probably be hard to warm up to an AI. Anyone know of a book with an AI who is humorous? Can there be one? If there is one, would it be truly artificial intelligence? Hmmm...


John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1531 comments Would the AI in Scalzi's "The Androids Dream" count, or is that more of a singularity thing?


message 24: by Dara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments The humor really makes this book something special. I think it really keeps Mark sane and keep his wits.


message 25: by Eric (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments Even thought it's childish, my favorite line from the book was:

VENKAT: Watch your mouth, everything we chat is being broadcast to the world
MARK: Look, boobies (emoticon for breasts)


Nathan Marchand | 11 comments The narrator in the audio book is hilarious! He get the tone and voice just right. I had to stop several times to hear his delivery again.

My favourite is still an early one.
Hell ya I'm a botanist! Fear my botanist powers!


Tsedai | 68 comments Eric wrote: "Even thought it's childish, my favorite line from the book was:

VENKAT: Watch your mouth, everything we chat is being broadcast to the world
MARK: Look, boobies (emoticon for breasts)"


Oh man I was laughing for like 10 minutes at that part.


Gordon (daftyman) | 28 comments How was the boobies explained in the audiobook? Seems like the audiophiles will be missing out.


Rob Secundus (quintessential_defenestration) | 1035 comments He just said "look boobies!" And that was it. I thought it was kind if funny but not hilarious; the print version is way better. Are they any other visual jokes we've missed out on, print readers?


message 30: by J.J. (new) - rated it 4 stars

J.J. Litke (jenzgoodreads) Well it does format email conversations differently, so that they're obviously text rather than spoken. That's the only other thing I can think of offhand.


David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments Sandi wrote: "I cannot tell you how funny it is in audio. R.C. Bray becomes Mark and gets his humor down perfectly. I'd be listening through my earphone and just start laughing. It's a good thing I was alone."

This. I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. I'm not really a Mars buff and I'm not into survival stories. If not for S & L I would never have given it a second glance. But R C Bray makes this easy listening and the humour makes the book for me. And I actually find the logistics of surviving on Mars interesting as well.


message 32: by Serendi (new)

Serendi | 828 comments I read and listened at the same time. There were some minor differences (I know sometimes the narrators are reading from the ARC and it seemed like that), but the "boobies" joke was the only place where I thought it mattered.

Okay, just found the Kindle version for audio listeners:

Look! A pair of boobs! -> (.Y.)

(And yes, the narrator did say "Boobies!)


Julie England (tehluhlah) | 8 comments I must agree, the humor in this is great! Mark totally reminds me of Hawkeye from M*A*S*H. It feels weird sometimes to be laughing out loud at a guy who is stranded and possibly doomed, but he certainly can deliver a one liner. Also, I am reading the ebook but thanks to these recommendations I know where my next audible credit is going...


message 34: by Ken (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ken (KGratten) | 34 comments Eric wrote: "Even thought it's childish, my favorite line from the book was:

VENKAT: Watch your mouth, everything we chat is being broadcast to the world
MARK: Look, boobies (emoticon for breasts)"


I was handling it fairly well until that line. There I was, sitting in a cafe with my kindle reading along sniggering silently to a lot of funny lines until, "Look, boobies!"

I had to run out of the cafe. Oh, it was too late to cover up the initial laugh. I left because I realized I wasn't gonna stop laughing for quite a while and didn't want to them to call the paddy wagon on me. I got just about as many strange looks when I returned as when I ran out as I'm sure they could all see me through the windows while I cackled myself silly. Didn't matter. Was totally worth it.


message 35: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6719 comments Mod
I think the humor is critical to the book. Without it, I think it would lose 1-2 stars. Definitely agree that audio makes it better.

Thanks to everyone who recommended it.


message 36: by Eric (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments Ken wrote: "Eric wrote: "Even thought it's childish, my favorite line from the book was:

VENKAT: Watch your mouth, everything we chat is being broadcast to the world
MARK: Look, boobies (emoticon for breasts)..."


Those looks are the best. I usually want to say, "if only you were reading this book you could be having just as much fun!"


message 37: by Skip (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skip | 517 comments I got the Kindle book and added the audio book, and was the best $3 I've spent in a long time. It is a hilarious book to listen to.


message 38: by Buzz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Buzz Park (buzzpark) | 338 comments terpkristin wrote: "Interesting. I can't listen to the audiobook. The characters have the appropriate amount of snark for engineers. Unfortunately listening makes me feel like I'm in a meeting at work."

Lol


message 39: by Buzz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Buzz Park (buzzpark) | 338 comments Loved this book. I agree with the others that the Audible version was amazing. Kudos to voice actor R.C. Bray!

Loved the humor and was glad that it lasted all the way to the end.


Stephanie Griffin | 49 comments Yay for the Bray! Listen today! Bray all the way!
I must be a poet. Or not...
Seriously, he did a great job on this book. Maybe he'll win an "Audie" award for it.


James (jamespeck) | 10 comments I really liked it when he put on the accents for those one liners. I chucked a few times at those.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) Nothing to add, just want to stand up and vote for the humor as excellent! I laughed out loud several times, startling people!


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