The Martian by Andy Weir // It Was Out of This World (Har Har)

Posted July 9, 2015 by Inge in Reviews / 12 Comments

The Martian by Andy Weir // It Was Out of This World (Har Har)The Martian by Andy Weir
on February 11th 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 384

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 & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long 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 isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Houston, we have a five-star rating. I repeat: we have a five-star rating!

Thank the fuck finally — my first five-star rating of the year. OF THE YEAR. Harry Potter re-reads not included, I have had quite a weird year in books so far. Plenty of books which I liked, even liked a lot, but nothing that made me go “fuck yeah!”

Well, it has finally happened. Fuck yeah. And I was in the worstreading slump as well, so it was quite a challenge. But I suddenly thought “I want to read something spacey”. I love survival stories, and I love spacey stuff – so why not spacey stuff mixed with a survival story? Thus, I one-clicked The Martian straight onto my Kindle, I started reading, and I was hooked. And I meanhooked.

It was an incredible story, unlike anything I’ve ever read. Mark Watney is fucked – completely and thoroughly fucked; for he is stranded on Mars all by his onesies. After a Mars mission gone wrong, his crew thinks him dead and leaves him on the red planet. Surrounded by nothing but solitude and red desert, Mark is forced to use a painful amount of brain cells to ensure his survival, with no one knowing he’s alive. Chances of suffocation or dying of thirst or hunger are quite realistic. So, yeah, pretty fucked.

Let’s be honest here – the average person (meaning me) understands about 30% of this book in total. There is so much scientific wimbo wumbo going on – Mark keeps a log for mankind to read and he’s constantly explaining why he’s doing this and that and tearing this to shreds and setting that on fire and how it will help increase his survival rate. He does explain his physical and mathematical calculations to us mere mortals, but a lot of the type my brain just went “NOPE”, accepted the explanation as is, and moved on with the story. No problem.

For a book where this one guy is stranded on Mars for the entire duration, it was surprisingly entertaining. I didn’t expect this book to be so funny, but Mark had me laughing constantly. If you’re going to abandon anyone on Mars, better be someone with a sense of humour.

“I don’t want to come off as arrogant here, but I’m the best botanist on the planet.”

“Maybe I’ll write a consumer review. “Brought product to the surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.””

Basically, I loved Mark. Even though he was stranded on Mars, he still had time to make “that’s what she said” jokes and complain about Disco. He was hard-working, intelligent, refused to give up, and didn’t hold a grudge against his crew members.

It was also nice to see the points of view from NASA on Earth, as well as from the crew members when they eventually find out Mark is still alive. It provides some unique perspective to the story and gave us even more suspense.

It probably would’ve been ages until I picked it up if it hadn’t been for that impulse buy, but I’m so glad I went for it. The Martian deserves all the praise it got: it was different, hilarious, exciting, and completely and utterly out of this world. (In honour of Mark Watney, I’m ending this review with a horrible pun. He’d appreciate it.)

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12 responses to “The Martian by Andy Weir // It Was Out of This World (Har Har)

  1. Ha! I just finished this book last week. I loved it, too! It was so far out of my normal wheelhouse, so I had no idea what to expect. But I ended up loving it for all the reasons you stated: Mark’s humor, the suspense, the astronomically low chances of survival… it was brilliant. Also, I love that you ended your review with a pun. You’re right, Mark Watney would definitely approve.

    • I went in with zero expectations, just wanted a good space story, and that’s what I got! Definitely not something I usually read, but damn it, it was good. What do you think of the movie trailer?

  2. I love a bad pun! I also loved this book. Definitely sci-fi at its best (although much of it also went over my head, haha.) I’m so glad you finally had a five-star read. It’s about time.

    • Right? Apart from my Harry Potter re-reads this year, I didn’t give out a single five-star rating. It’s ridiculous, really. I think maybe that’s the reason why I got into the reading slump, because I wasn’t feeling it and really needed a break. But I’m getting out now!

  3. I remember everyone liked this when it came out, but I forgot about it until I saw the movie trailer and my interest shot up 1000 PERCENT. I’m up for a space survival story pretty much anytime. It makes me think , though — besides the fact that I don’t know enough to survive on Mars, I’d be pretty worried about keeping up my hopes, because I’m sure I wouldn’t have the same sense of humor in his situation. XD

    • Oh man, I absolutely admire Mark’s sense of humour in this situation, I would’ve given up after three seconds, I think! But he persevered and kept joking about it and that’s what makes the story so amazing. Really looking forward to the movie!

  4. I saw the trailer for this when seeing Jurassic World, and my first thought was: I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. I think it looks EPIC. Like, I’m usually just a YA reader — although I do occasionally read a popular adult novel, or something that appeals to me — but this one looks so so so promising. So glad you finally got your five star read! 😉

    • The trailer looks so good, right? Although I do think they show a bit TOO much of the story, and I’m not sure about Matt Damon being cast, but… I’m keeping an open mind because I’m just too excited about the fact that this is a movie!

  5. I watched the movie Gravity and read a book called 172 hours on the moon… and hated them both. After that I vowed not to read or watch a book or movie where it is set in space with a very limited cast of people. But then this book came out and some movie called Interstellar, that are both supposed to be amazing. So maybe I am going to have to break that vow and try the both of them. But I am still very hesitant. The other two really did scare me off…

    • Oh, that’s too bad! I haven’t watched Gravity yet, but I did read 172 Hours on the Moon and I quite enjoyed that. But I like anything space-related, though. I’ve seen Interstellar, it’s a good watch but sometimes it feels like it lasts 3 days instead of 3 hours haha. Nothing amazing, bit of a cliché ending. The Martian is worth a try though!

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