The Martian

The Martian

A Novel

Book - 2014
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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 while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and 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--and 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?
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c2014.
ISBN: 9781101905005
9780804139021
0804139024
9781101903582
9780553418026
Characteristics: 369 pages :,map ;,24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - NextReads4098
LPL_recommends Sep 20, 2014

SciFi/Thriller. Heavy on the science. Astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars. Everyone thinks he is dead and he has to find a way to survive.


From the critics


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I was told to read The Martian by outside sources which initially made me resist the idea (as did the imminent movie and general dislike for mass consumption Sci Fi novels). This was a mistake. By far my favourite read of 2015, The Martian exceeded my expectations. Told through the voice of Mark Watney, a sarcastic Botonist/Astronaut/General Fix-it Man, the reader is swept into a survival story like none before: survival on Mars! Mark Watney is abandoned on Mars after a sandstorm separates him from his crew. He must employ his considerable skills to survive and possibly make it back to earth. Andy Weir manages to combine plausible science and edge of your seat drama to write this compelling tale. The constant cliff hangers and hilarious wit of Mark Watney made this not only a read all night book, but also a read twice in one week book! (Submitted by CB).

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YT1300f
Nov 09, 2018

Spoiler Alert: No aliens and no capricious explosions. This book is so detailed and engrossing. Highly recommend. I'd eat glass for this.

f
fionajay
Nov 08, 2018

Nominee for GoodReads' Best Reads 2018 : Best of the Best.

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luxiaofan
Sep 03, 2018

Very interesting book but i'm 10 and it has swear words. But I don't really care.

Tualatin_JoH Aug 28, 2018

Stepping out each day we all face challenges, Weir takes us a step beyond expanding our senses to include a greater experience of getting through the day.

bibliosara Aug 22, 2018

I must say, I am biased about this one. I watched (and loved) the Martian movie with Matt Damon when it first came, and rewatched it several times since. So, I know the story pretty well. The first time I tried to read this book, the scientific jargon, equations, and explanations turned me off. However, this time I persevered. I'm glad I did. Although the story was probably not as intense as it would have been had I read it first, it was still fast-paced, fascinating, and held my attention. The science part was a bit hard to muddle through, especially since I've never particularly cared for physics or chemistry (of which there is, naturally, a great deal). There are several events and details that aren't covered in the movie, which was really enjoyable to experience. The humor was balanced nicely with facts, emotions, and action. In addition, Mark is not the only narrator, so you won't get bored. Overall, I would suggest reading this before watching the movie if at all possible. Either way, read and enjoy (especially if you're into the sciencey things that our hero is a master at)!

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BudgiesNbooks
Aug 18, 2018

This is ruggedly beautiful. I’m at a loss for words. I’ll just say that I agree with every positive comment below. Hehe.

m
Montol
Jul 16, 2018

What a great novel! Even better than the movie, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The ending felt a bit abrupt by comparison, but the bulk of the novel was so much better. What an odd and wonderful mix of sci-fi and comedy! Highly recommended.

w
WoodneathLizzie
Jun 30, 2018

What an awesome read! This book sucked me in so completely that I literally forgot I wasn't reading the blog of an astronaut stuck on Mars. There I was, rushing through dinner because WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO MARK WATNEY AND I MISSED IT?! Obviously that didn't happen, but I did finish this book in a few hours and promptly pressed it into my husband's hands.

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nosunrise
Jun 28, 2018

Not sure what "dark/black humor" all these other reviewers are referring to. The humor was juvenile and not particularly funny. I have no problem with swearing or heavily technical descriptions, and I wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't get past the author's immaturity. It was just boring for large stretches, and not in a good way --i.e., it didn't have anything to do with empathizing with Mark's isolation and daily tedium, it simply was not written well.

Was also annoying that every single NASA engineer and major character is male. Would it have killed our esteemed author to change a few instances of 'he' to 'she'? Yes, some of the astronauts are female, as well as the NASA PR woman and the low-ranked Mindy Park, but they were given very little responsibility (and plot time) in comparison to the male characters, nevermind Mindy's ridiculous "oh I'm female so I'm shy and I cry lots and am jealous of other women." Every female character's description involved how hot she was, something the male characters did not have to endure. Yes, most NASA engineers probably are male, but not all, and there was no reason to oversell the stereotype in a fictional book. Disappointing, especially for something that could have been so easily remedied.

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Age Suitability

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e
EDRICK WONG
Aug 18, 2018

EDRICK WONG thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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green_cat_3454
Apr 12, 2018

green_cat_3454 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

l
librarybox
Feb 01, 2018

librarybox thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 16 and 50

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jacobkendunn
Aug 08, 2017

jacobkendunn thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

r
ranahamze1
Oct 19, 2016

ranahamze1 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

red_flower1008 Jul 13, 2016

red_flower1008 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

r
red_fox_1260
Jun 15, 2016

red_fox_1260 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

b
black_cat_3047
Mar 07, 2016

black_cat_3047 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

k
kosmecki1
Jan 10, 2016

kosmecki1 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

g
green_lion_978
Jan 05, 2016

green_lion_978 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Quotes

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Tualatin_JoH Aug 28, 2018

"He must rely on his own resourcefulness to survive. He begins a log of his experiences. His philosophy is to "work the problem", solving each challenge in turn as it confronts him."

b
BudgiesNbooks
Aug 18, 2018

“ “What must it be like?” He pondered. “He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?” He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”
Log entry: Sol 61
How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.”

a
AddisonLiu
Aug 07, 2016

Yes, of course of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped.

You know what? "kilowatt-hours per sol" is a pain in the ass to say. I'm gonna invent a new scientific name. one kilowatt-hour per sol is...it can be anything...um...I suck at this...I'll call it a "pirate-ninja"."

As with most of life's problems, this can be solved with a box of pure radiation.

b
braedenmillanes09
Jul 06, 2016

"Six days into what should be the greatest two months of my life, and it's turned into a nightmare." - Mark Watney

s
SueStarlight
Jan 26, 2016

SEARCHING FOR TELEMETRY SIGNAL . . .
SEARCHING FOR TELEMETRY SIGNAL . . .
SEARCHING FOR TELEMETRY SIGNAL . . .
SIGNAL ACQUIRED . . .

j
jimg2000
Nov 19, 2015

The cast in space:

“Beck said (to sister Amy.) “Everyone has multiple roles. I’m the doctor, the biologist, and the EVA specialist. Commander Lewis is our geologist. Johanssen is the sysop and reactor tech. And so on”
How about that good-looking guy … Martinez?” Amy asked. “What does he do?”
“He pilots the MDV and MAV.” Beck said. “He’s also married with a kid, you lecherous homewrecker.”
“Ah well How about Watney? What did he do?”
“He’s our botanist and engineer. And don’t talk about him in the past tense.”
“Engineer? Like Scotty?”
“Kind of.” Beck said. “He fixes stuff.”
“I bet that’s coming in handy now.”
“Yeah, no shite.”

j
jimg2000
Nov 19, 2015

More Dilbert-like humor:

They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially ‘colonised’ it. So technically, I colonised Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong!

I need to ask myself, 'What would an Apollo astronaut do?' He'd drink three whiskey sours, drive his Corvette to the launchpad, then fly to the moon in a command module smaller than my Rover. Man those guys were cool.

Me: “This is obviously a clog. How about I take it apart and check the internal tubing?”
NASA: (after five hours of deliberation) “No. You’ll freak it up and die.” So I took it apart.

“How did I end up in this situation? I’m the district sales manager of a napkin factory. Why is my daughter in space?”

j
jimg2000
Nov 19, 2015

Dilbert-like humor (2 of 3):
People have been using human waste as fertilizer for centuries. It’s even got a pleasant name: “night soil.” … My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain.

The worst moments in life are heralded by small observations. The tiny lump on your side that wasn’t there before Coming home to your wife and seeing two wineglasses in the sink. Anytime you hear “We interrupt this program…”

I did turn the heat back on (I’m not insane), … Waking up to frigid weather felt surprisingly nostalgic. I grew up in Chicago, after all.

The screen went black before I was out of the airlock. Turns out the “L” in “LCD” stands for “Liquid.” I guess it either froze or boiled off. Maybe I’ll post a consumer review. “Brought product to surface of Mars. It stopped working. 0/10.
I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. First, get some hot water, then add nothin’.

j
jimg2000
Nov 19, 2015

Dilbert-like humor (3 of 3):

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

Also, I have duct tape. Ordinary duct tape, like you buy at a hardware store. Turns out even NASA can’t improve on duct tape.

“Venkat’s got a doctorate in physics, Tim,” Bruce said. “You don’t need to explain transmission time to him.”
Tim shrugged. “You can never tell with managers.”

It’s a strange feeling. Everywhere I go, I’m the first. Step outside the rover? First guy ever to be there! Climb a hill? First guy to climb that hill! Kick a rock: That rock hadn't moved in a million years!

“How are our monkeys?” “The children are fine.” She smiled.

If I can’t trust NASA, who can I trust?

I got really bored, so I decided to pick a theme song! … There are plenty of great candidates: “Life on Mars?” by David Bowie, “Rocket Man” by Elton John, “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan.
But I settled on “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees.

j
jimg2000
Nov 19, 2015

Dilbert-like humor (1 of 3:)
“I admit it’s fatally dangerous,” Watney said. “But consider this: I’d get to fly around like Iron Man.”

Live Another Sol would be an awesome name for a James Bond movie.“

I’ll drink as needed and dump my waste outdoors. Yeah, that’s right, Mars, I’m gonna piss and shxt on you. That’s what you get for trying to kill me all the time.

Just three words? Nothing about his physical health? His equipment? His supplies?'
'You got me,' she said. 'He left a detailed status report. I just decided to lie for no reason.'

Gay probe coming to save me. Got it.

I guess NAASA figured botany and chemistry are similar because they both end in “Y.”

“Space is dangerous,” Mitch snapped. “It’s what we do here. If you want to play it safe all the time, go join an insurance company…”

As my sole means of communication with NASA, Pathfinder gets to ride on the roof, Granny Clampett style.

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Notices

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b
BudgiesNbooks
Aug 18, 2018

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Definitely full of action and very intense.

b
BudgiesNbooks
Aug 18, 2018

Sexual Content: Humorous mentions only

b
BudgiesNbooks
Aug 18, 2018

Coarse Language: The main character isn’t at all shy to express his anger through profanity.

g
green_cat_3454
Apr 12, 2018

Other: Several characters take our LORD's name in vain.

g
green_cat_3454
Apr 12, 2018

Coarse Language: F-Bomb on the 4th word. But it definitely is not alone.

a
AffirmationChick
Nov 06, 2015

Coarse Language: The first word of the book is an expletive and the author doesn't shy away, though they aren't pervasive

v
vv8
Jun 13, 2015

Coarse Language: Profanity throughout

Summary

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l
lonewolf8
Jun 28, 2015

NASA has the ability to send maned spacecraft to Mars and back, unfortunately one of the astronauts gets left behind and is mistaken for dead. Watney, now stranded on a hostile planet with limited resources attempts to make contact with NASA while faced with starvation, mechanical failure and any number of things that could kill him.

l
lham19
Jun 13, 2015

Very nerdy and sciency. Full of wonder. The quick humor, fast-paced action, and cool-factor made it hard to put down and completely unforgettable

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