by Andy Weir

Reviewer Rating:


This fast-paced, high tension debut novel had me breathless at times, laughing at others. Astronaut  (and mechanical engineer, and botanist) Mark Watney has been abandoned on Mars after a scrubbed mission, presumed dead. He has some supplies, shelter, some food. But not enough of any of it to last until the next Mars mission lands in 4 years. He uses his training, ingenuity, and creativity to modify equipment, make more food and water, explore, and eventually re-establish communications. The story is mostly told through Mark's log entries, which manage to be both scientific and entertaining at the same time. The tension ramps up with the addition of glimpses of what NASA is doing to try to rescue Mark before he runs out of food. While I'm no scientist, everything Mark does sounds plausible, and he has his share of both success and catastrophic failure. Try this if you like survival stories, creative problem solving, and a character with a great voice. EVen if you're not a science fiction fan, Mark's story is gripping.


What an amazing experience, reading this book! While Mark is incommunicado, it's a testament to "Necessity is the mother of invention." Once NASA is back in the loop, it's an amazing story of brainstorming and teamwork to explore all possibilities and odds of success, but then "necessity on the ground on Mars" always wins out. Read this book! You won't be sorry.

So glad that you enjoyed! Definitely one of my favorite books this year, and one that has such wide appeal, I recommend it to a lot of people! Hopefully the planned movie will do it justice!

I loved this book! I laughed out loud at parts and my stomach ached with fear for him in others. Definitely one of my favorite books of this year.

Glad you enjoyed it, I've recommended it a lot this year and it's one of my top books of 2014 as well!

The Martian is a great story, but it's far from a great book. Weir's own technical background means that he writes confidently and well about the gobs of mechanical, electrical, and aerospace engineering in the book. And of course the lead character of castaway Mark Watney, irreverent, self-deprecating, and very smart, is easy to root for. But the book's plot is pretty much paint-by-numbers and the other characters in the book are two-dimensional. The book is a terrific page-turner, and I'm glad I read it (I certainly feel smarter), but I doubt it will leave much of an impression on me a month from now. Earlier this year I read Dan Simmons' The Terror, and as survival stories go, it's light-years better than The Martian.

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