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Group Read Discussions > The Martian

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
Hi everyone! THE MARTIAN is August's Sci-Fi themed group read. David, since he nominated the book, gets to host our discussion of it.

If you haven't picked up the book yet, I hear that if you purchase the ebook, you can get the audiobook for 2.99! I just started listening to the audiobook today and I really really like it! You should totally take advantage of this!

Oh, and on the publisher's website, scroll down to read THE MARTIAN STORY. It tells you all about how Andy Weir's book came to be.

message 2: by David (new)

David O'Neal | 89 comments excited to see you jumping on reading this one Lori. can't wait to hear your input.

message 3: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments i just bought the audiobook of this the other day - its gotten really good reviews - now to just find time to listen to it...

message 4: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
Oh my gosh, Dee, it's soooo good. I love the narrator. and the witty sarcasm is hilarious.

David, I think you made a great choice nominating this one! Looking forward to what everyone else thinks once the discussion gets under way.

message 5: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments i miss the days of my 2+ hour commute each day and all the audiobooks I got to listen to...

message 6: by Alycia (new)

Alycia (alyciac) | 2907 comments Read this one earlier this year, but I'll happily read it again.

message 7: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
Anyone actively reading this now?

I'm listening to the audio and LOVING it!

message 8: by Rebecca NJ (new)

Rebecca NJ (njreader) | 425 comments I recently read it and loved it. In fact, I've been recommending it to everyone I know even (gasp!) non-readers. Honestly, I think if you were to read one book this year, The Martian should be it!

message 9: by David (new)

David O'Neal | 89 comments i went with the audio version as well, Lori convinced me that was the way to go :)

message 10: by David (new)

David O'Neal | 89 comments anyone feeling it is too close to Gravity? Castaway? i love the concept

message 11: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
I hadn't seen Gravity, but definitely a Castaway in outer space for sure! I was talking about it at the break table yesterday at work, and I NEVER talk books at work (I'm labelled as the book girl)

message 12: by Amie (new)

Amie O'connor | 5 comments finished this book a couple of weeks ago. the words MaCGyver kept popping into my head.

message 13: by Beck (new)

Beck So glad you mentioned the audiobook deal, Lori. I listened to the first 40 minutes on my way to work this morning... it's delightful!

I've seen Gravity, but I didn't even think to compare the two until I read your comment, David. Sure, there's the whole "stranded in space" thing (lol), but I'm getting more of a post-apocalyptic vibe from The Martian.

Now all that's left to see is if I can be patient and enjoy the audiobook over my commute this week, or if I'll crack and devour the ebook when I get home :)

Great pick, y'all!

message 14: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
So glad you guys picked up the audio! I'm on chapter 20 now I think... Mark is absolutely, without a doubt, the man I want to be around when the apocalypse arrives! He can figure himself out of ANY mess!!

message 15: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments i have the finish up the book i'm listening to, then this is next

message 16: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments re: gravity - i saw somewhere the Tess Gerritsen has actually filed suit against the producers of Gravity for copyright - since it was almost directly taken from one of her short stories

message 17: by Rita (new)

Rita K | 2 comments I did a short review after I read this. Loved the book. Definitely not Gravity. Better. Here is my review.

Some reviewers did not like how snarky Watney could be as they thought - I guess - that someone trying to survive on the surface of Mars should be more serious. This would have made a very boring read. Watney's humor was just the thing to keep you reading. I laughed out loud a number of times. It is partly what kept me going as I could not be sure the science was right and sometimes wasn't even sure what he was trying to attempt. So a comment as to "smelling like a skunk that had taken a shit on some smelly sweat socks" was just the ticket. I enjoyed the book and look forward to a possible movie version of this. Yay, Watney!

message 18: by Tina (new)

Tina | 143 comments I also picked up the audio version and am enjoying it. I was a real fan of Macgyver, so I like the main character. What came to my mind first were Robinson Crusoe and Swiss Family Robinson.

message 19: by Robinhj (new)

Robinhj | 6 comments I read it last week. I actually found it merely 'OK' Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading it and am glad I read it but it was nothing special and if I had paid full price instead of borrowing it from the Library I would probably have felt a little short-changed. At 50% discount I would have probably felt it was worth the money. If you have not read it and you enjoyed the film 'Gravity' (which I did) then you will enjoy this book. Actually, that probably encompasses how I feel about the book; it reads like a 'made for the masses' Hollywood adventure script.

message 20: by Beck (new)

Beck I'm 75% of the way through now, and I agree, Robin.

The story is solid. I feel engaged, it's well-paced, and I'm excited to find out how everything turns out. But there have been a bunch of weird, clichéd moments that fell flat at best and made me cringe at worst (which may be exacerbated by the audio). I think the bulk of the book being in the informal "log" format allows the author to get away with not being a very nuanced writer--and it's especially obvious in the NASA/Hermes interludes.

Overall though, as a debut novel, I think it succeeds. I would read another book by Andy Weir.

message 21: by David (new)

David O'Neal | 89 comments its fairly short so I hope the group gets the overall positive vibe going on in the discussion and picks up a copy - easy to finish before the end of the month. it is that late summer popcorn book we all need before September hits :)

message 22: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
I finished the audio on my way home from work last night.

Overall, I really liked the book. The witty sarcasm kept it moving along nicely.

I found myself wondering, at the end, what if Andy Weir had wrote it to end differently? I don't want to ruin the book for those who haven't made it all the way through yet, but if the ending were different, would I have appreciate the book more, or less? I wonder....

message 23: by Rita (new)

Rita K | 2 comments I liked the book quite a bit. I read it as an ebook that I borrowed from the library. But since I like science fiction as much as I like snark the book was just the ticket for me. I prefer to put my own emphasis on words so prefer ebook to audio, unless it is an autobiography and the author is reading it.

message 24: by David (new)

David O'Neal | 89 comments apollo 13 had nothing on this guy

message 25: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
I know, right?!

message 26: by James (new)

James Bisceglia | 7 comments I loved the book when I read it last year. It's riveting. Very enjoyable.

message 27: by Kim (new)

Kim | 28 comments I listened to the audio version a few months ago, and I have to wholeheartedly agree that that would be the way to go. I didn't care much for the scenes on Earth (it felt more like an action thriller and had less personality), but the scenes with Mark on Mars were just so FUN.

message 28: by Richard (new)

Richard Derus (expendablemudge) I gave it a 5-star rating because it's a corrective to the prevailing grim, badly made dystopias cluttering the YA shelves. My review's here, and at my blog. I'm also excited about the to-be-made movie w/Matt Damon. But I'm glad I read the book first.

message 29: by David (new)

David O'Neal | 89 comments this is the first I heard about the movie being made- that should be fun. I loved all the science and stuff I learned about water reuptake and oxygen circulators. I have no idea if the science portion was true (you can turn your poo and a little dirt into a farm) or if the author made it up but it added a lot to the story

message 30: by David (new)

David O'Neal | 89 comments kim - I liked the scenes on earth - the cast of NASA based characters gave us a different perspective and were all amusing and added to the story in their own way. I even liked the descriptive outside narrations that added tension like the section on the creation and wear of the Hab canvas.

Kim wrote: "I listened to the audio version a few months ago, and I have to wholeheartedly agree that that would be the way to go. I didn't care much for the scenes on Earth (it felt more like an action thrill..."

message 31: by Tad (new)

Tad (tottman) I read this book earlier and absolutely loved it. Sort of a Robinson Crusoe meets Apollo 13. I think Mark is one of the most likable protagonists I've ever come across.

I also liked the scenes on earth. I agree it helped with perspective and kept it from being too claustrophobic. The research that went into this and the resulting realism were outstanding. I truly wasn't sure how this book was going to end until the very last page.

I hope the movie version does it justice.

I read the book originally, but I have an audio version I'm going to use for a re-listen soon.

message 32: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 616 comments ok, i'm a bit behind (like always) - i'm about halfway through the audiobook right now ((view spoiler)) - and i think i'm going to subtitle it - MacGyver in Mars (does anyone remember that show?) - i'm laughing so hard in spots...really debating giving this to my friend an engineer for christmas - he has enough humor to appreciate it i think

message 33: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
I really got a kick out of all the shenanigans - they humor and sarcasm was just right! And yes, a total MacGyver on Mars!

message 34: by VickiLee (last edited Sep 11, 2014 06:39PM) (new)

VickiLee I have purchased this novel but I haven't had the chance to read it yet. My best friend, a literate physicist (who knew they were around :^D) highly recommended the novel. She also tells me it is being made into a movie. So I wanted to make a comment about the book just in case it slips into an archive file before I get to read it.

message 35: by Dani (new)

Dani (The Pluviophile Writer) (pluviophilewriter) | 237 comments I'm not normally a big science fiction fan but this book kept bombarding my Goodreads newsfeed so I figured I'd give it a try. This book absolutely exploded the year it was released and it is now being made into a big Hollywood movie which is expected to be released November 2015. Relatively unknown before the publication of this book, the author Andy Weir, is the son of a particle physicist and was caught up in the world of science fiction at a young age. He studied computer science, though he apparently didn't graduate, not that it stopped him from him from working as a programmer and at some pretty big name companies like AOL and Blizzard. He actually worked on Warcraft 2 which I think is pretty awesome! I love that game. I'm tell you all this because it's relevant to the content of this book as only someone with this kind of background could write a novel like this. This book is so hugely appealing because of the effort that Weir takes to make it realistic. This not only displays Weir's intelligence but also his talent, as he manages to add some pretty technical aspects to this novel but it never loses its readability. It's apparent that Weir enjoys puzzles and problems and his enjoyment comes through his words in this book.

Mark Watney is one of the first astronauts to land on Mars and with the way things are going he may the be the first to die there. Mark is a very funny, witty, intelligent and remarkably resourceful person. Apparently NASA selected him for the this mission for his optimism and sense of humor as, psychologically, it's a good mix to have while being in space for years. Mark heads out to Mars with his team of other remarkably brilliant people to Mars to do a routine mission. However when a bad wind storm picks up Mark is thrown away from his team and his suit is pierced and the equipment in it malfunctions. His poor team, thinking, and for good reason, that he is dead pack up their stuff and head back on the almost year long trip back to Earth. The book opens with Mark's first realization that he his trapped on Mars with no way of communicating back to Earth that he is alive. NASA does eventually figure out that Mark is alive but the trouble is the publicity that this scenario has created back on Earth and the real dilemma of trying to rescue him before he runs out of food.

Where the book gets technical is with Mark's brainstorming and problem solving. I'm no genius so I haven no idea how plausible the scenarios in the book are but they sure seem like they could be, so that's a mission accomplished in my books. The situations and feats that Mark accomplishes to save his own skin on Mars is truly remarkable. As a reader, you're anxiously awaiting to see how Mark solves his next trial in order to keep himself alive. What makes this book even better is that the chapters are written as a space log. Mark is recording his events on Mars to have some sort of documentation of what happens to him while he is on Mars, and not only are they remarkable but some of them are down right hilarious. He is so frank and honest in the logs because he doesn't think that anyone will ever get a chance to listen to them. From cursing and despair, to commentary on the terrible entertainment his crew members left behind, Mark is a character I would love to meet and would definitely love to read more of. I'm anxious to see the movie now.

You don't need to be a science fiction lover to enjoy this novel, but it never hurts to bring out your inner nerd

message 36: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10060 comments Mod
Dani. did you just post your review of the book here? this thread is not to be a collection of reviews. it's a discussion thread for those who have read the book and are looking for others who've read it and wish to strike up dialogue over it.

message 37: by David (new)

David O'Neal | 89 comments I am expecting a lot of members to pick this up and read it as publicity builds on the Matt Damon movie version. Just another reminder the TNBBC is always ahead of the curve and everyone should get on board with group reads! then you would have read it a year ago with us

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