Book vs Movie: The Martian

Posted March 24, 2016 by Inge in Book vs Movie, Features / 4 Comments

It is possible that I am entirely way too excited about this blog post, and there is a good chance that there may or may not be squealing involved. Because, today, I am comparing the book and the movie of The Martian, a story full of awesomeness to please your inner space geek.


The story

Taken from Goodreads:

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.

The book

I had a pretty weird reading year in 2015. I didn’t get any five-star ratings in until July. JULY. I was also going through a massive reading slump, and then I bought The Martian on a whim because I was in the mood for wibbly wobbly spacey stuff. Man, was it good. Was it GOOD. I flailed all over my review. It completely delivered on the nerdy spacey stuff. On top of that, Mark Watney was the best surprise all year. I didn’t expect it to be so funny, but leave it to Mark Watney to have a sense of humour about being stranded on Mars. He was a beautiful egg.

It was so good that I even used a happy Minions gif. This is huge, because I hate Minions and firmly believe they are the spawn of Satan.

The movie

Then, right after finishing the book, I found a movie trailer for the movie! PICTURE MY HAPPINESS. I was in for more spacey goodness! I was a little hesitant about Matt Damon being cast as Mark Watney (seriously, how much money are we spending on bringing Matt Damon back from places?), but heck, I was too excited to care.

The movie was perfect. I loved how they stayed perfectly true to the book (which, safe to say, is always a bit of a worrying point) and how they kept the sense of humour in it. Matt Damon was a brilliant Mark Watney, Mars was a brilliant planet (yes, you are, look at you being a pretty red planet!), and I loved it from beginning to end. I was doubly happy – happy to have seen a good movie, and happy to have seen a good movie adaptation!

Consider me a happy camper.

The verdict

You know what, both were pretty much fucking fantastic. But I’m going to go with the book, because that’s the original work and it just took me by surprise in so many wonderful ways. It made me laugh, it got me out of my reading slump, and I found a new fictional crush in Mark Watney. It was spectacular.


4 responses to “Book vs Movie: The Martian

  1. Ari

    I still haven’t read or watched The Martian! Have heard so many incredible things about both, I cannot wait to check them out. Wonderful post xx

  2. YOU HATE MINIONS??? *faints*

    Okay, but really. I loved the movie a whole lot. And I tried reading the book because of it, but I stopped because all the math & stuff want waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over my head. It made my head spin so I put it down. I might try it another time though because I did like the humor. 🙂

  3. I have to admit this is one of the rare instances where I actually liked the movie better. My opinion might be different if I’d read the book before watching the movie, but I watched the movie with lowish expectations and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I read the book afterwards and I liked it, but I felt the movie had better pacing and was just simply more entertaining. I usually love science in books, but in The Martian parts of it read like an actual manual and there’s a reason I never read the manual (although, I’ve also discovered it can actually be really helpful recently who would have thought haha). I like them both though and Mark is the best.

  4. It seems like this one was really too close of a competition! I haven’t read the book OR seen the movie yet. I know, shame on me. But I am really looking forward to doing both! I want to buy the book and read it because everyone is flailing about its wonderful and the movie just looks so good. Or at least people tell me because I haven’t seen the trailer. Spoilers and all…

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